Another big announcement from the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. This time the publication of his housing strategy. Lots of good stuff in it but the basic flaw is this idea that more social rented housing is the solution – it is actually the problem. Boris wants 30,000 more socially rented "housing units" over the next three years. the point isn’t merely that the target is realistically high but that if it was met it would not be an achievement. The remaining 20,000 will be low cost home ownership and private renting. Now you’re talking.
"The ratio of social:intermediate housing from 70:30 to 60:40, to enable a higher proportion of low cost home ownership," says the plan. I would have been happier if the ratio had changed from 70:30 to 0:100. Still, it’s progress on Ken Livingstone.
Sensible focus on reducing empty properties. As is taking some of the surplus land owned by such bodies as Transport for London and using it for housing. Also: "The Mayor is committed to ending rough sleeping in the capital," adds the report. There are reckoned to be 250 of them in the capital on any given night. But the problem is not that beds are unavailable for them but that they choose to sleep rough – often because they are mentally ill and on the receiving end of the "care in the community" policy. Not sure Boris has the power to fix that.