This Mayoral election is a referendum on the Tory housing crisis

*Check against delivery*

 

Thank you for that kind introduction Kemi.

It’s because of people like Kemi that I’m running for Mayor.

Kemi works hard and has a decent job – she does so much for our community.

But she is still stuck renting.

She pays more in rent every year – with increases of ten or fifteen per cent a year.

And faces spending hundreds of pounds to letting agent every time she moves.

With little chance of getting on the property ladder without real change.

Kemi proves why it’s so important that we act now to fix London’s housing crisis.

 

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You know, it’s great to be home.

Today, we’re just around the corner from the council estate where I grew up.

Me, my mum and dad, my six brothers and my sister all lived in three rooms.

It was certainly cosy!

But it was safe, secure and affordable.

And it allowed my parents to work hard and save up a deposit to buy a home of their own.

Growing up on a council estate means I really get the importance of genuinely affordable homes to Londoners lives.

My personal experiences have shaped my whole approach to housing.

And that’s why I’m proud to say:

I’ll be the Council estate boy who fixes the Tory housing crisis.

 

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But my experiences don’t end at the estate across the road.

I know what it’s like for the millions of Londoners who aspire to own their own home.

It was difficult enough for my wife and I when we saved up for a deposit.

I carried on sleeping on a bunk bed at my parents until I was 24 while we scrimped and saved!

But it’s harder now and simply impossible for many Londoners. 

And as a dad, I worry about whether my daughters will be able to live in the same area as us when they move out.

It was so amazing for us to have my mum around the corner when the girls were young.

But it’s unlikely they will ever be able to afford to buy a home in this area.

And that’s the same for millions of parents and grandparents across London.

 

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Every single Londoner is feeling the effects of the housing crisis one way or another.

No one is spared.

First time buyers are struggling to ever save up enough for a deposit.

Parents and grandparents are worried their children and grandchildren won’t be able to afford to live nearby.

Millions of renters live in fear of having their rent hiked every year and having to pay yet another round of agents fees.

London’s hospitals, schools and public services are unable to recruit key staff because they can’t afford to live here.

And our businesses are being undermined because they can’t attract and retain experienced and highly qualified workers – because of the Tory housing crisis.

 

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This election is a referendum on the Tory housing crisis.

And if we don’t act now it could be too late.

We can’t let London be hollowed out.

We can’t let our communities be ripped apart or changed beyond all recognition.

We can’t let London become home only for the very richest. 

And make no mistake that’s the direction we’re heading under the Tories.

The average London home now costs more than half a million pounds to buy.

The average London renter now spends £100 more a week on rent than they did four years ago.

And the average deposit for a first time buyer is now more than £108,000.

Things have got so ridiculous that the average deposit for a home in London is now more than the average price of a flat in a third of England.

We can’t let this go on.

 

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These figures expose the true scale of the Tory housing crisis.

And I’m determined to rise to the challenge.

It’s why I’ve devoted so much of this campaign to talking about tackling London’s housing crisis.

And why I’ve laid out real plans for action in my ‘Manifesto for all Londoners’.

As Mayor, I’ll strengthen the London Plan, so that 50% of all new homes built in London are genuinely affordable.

I’ll give Londoners first dibs on new homes built, not overseas investors.

I’ll set up Homes for Londoners, reporting directly to me as Mayor, to drive a step-change in the number of homes we need to build in London.

I’ll build new homes on public land owned by the Mayor, including TfL land

And I’ll also bid to develop other public sector land like our NHS sites - with a proportion of homes aimed at health service workers

In stark contrast to Zac Goldsmith - I’ll act to help renters in London, by setting up a London-wide not for profit letting agency.

This will end rip off fees for renters, and promote longer tenancies.

And we’ll name and shame rogue landlords online.

 

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There’s a real difference at this election on housing – a stark choice between me and Zac Goldsmith.

And that choice is on the type of homes we’ll build.

I’ll build homes that are genuinely affordable for working Londoners – both to buy and to rent.

That means homes for social rent.

Homes for London Living Rent – with rent levels set at one third of local income.

And homes for part-buy, part-rent – with low deposits and lower monthly payments to help Londoners get their foot on the ladder.

But Zac Goldsmith doesn’t get it.

His definition of ‘affordable’ is ludicrous.

His so-called ‘Starter Homes’ will cost up to £450,000 and according to housing experts Shelter the average starter home will only be affordable to Londoners earning over £77,000 a year.

Zac – let me tell you now – £450,000 is not affordable.

You could not be more out of touch.

But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised.

After all, this is the man who days after the budget was posing in photos with his mate George Osborne.

And who is the last person left still defending the cuts to disabled Londoners.

Sorry Zac - that budget was not good for London.

And it did nothing at all to help tackle London’s housing crisis.

 

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Let me end by saying this

The Tory housing crisis is changing the face of our city forever.

The London we love is changing – and not for the better.

This election really is a referendum on fixing the Tory housing crisis.

And there’s a real choice for Londoners.

Zac Goldsmith will build homes for overseas investors that Londoners can’t afford.

I’ll build homes that Londoners can afford.

I’ll be the Council estate boy who fixes the Tory housing crisis.

 

 


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