Sadiq Khan, a frontrunner for the Labour nomination to be the next Mayor of London, has today promised that if he becomes Mayor that no mixed housing development will be granted permission if the design has two entrances, one for private tenants and one for social tenants.
Sadiq Khan's decision follows a series of meetings he has held with housing charities, including Shelter, Generation Rent and the Notting Hill Housing Trust where he discussed the need for a fundamentally new approach to dealing with London’s chronic housing crisis.
Sadiq has also spoken to developers and architects to canvass opinion about banning poor doors. A number of councils and tenants have also made clear their opposition to the two door entry system.
The use of poor doors to segregate tenants recently came to light when an investigation into a new development in East London found that in the promotional material for the development the company advised private buyers that they would have an exclusive hotel style lobby entrance while social tenants would have a separate door around the corner.
The two tier door system at the Commercial Street development is just one of a number segregated entrances that have been agreed in London over the last year and include developments agreed by the Mayor in Queens Park and Westminster.
Commenting Sadiq Khan said:
"Unlike the present mayor who has refused to end this appalling form of social segregation, I would act to ban poor doors once and for all. We outlawed segregation in this country almost 50 years ago and I’m not going to allow it to rear its ugly head again. Poor doors segregate people who are living side by side, they drive a wedge between our communities. I want a London that rejoices in its social cohesion not separates people on the basis of their social class. That’s why, with the powers I would have as Mayor, I will use them to bring an end to this dreadful and socially divisive practice."
The announcement that Sadiq would use the powers of the Mayor’s office to refuse planning permission for any schemes which incorporated poor doors follows a recent meeting he had with New York Mayor Bill de and his team. Last month de Blasio moved to ban poor doors following an outcry from New Yorkers.