The Mayor of London has called for Stamp Duty receipts and other property taxes from the capital to be devolved to the city so the money can be spent on affordable housing.
Sadiq Khan said he currently receives around £0.7bn a year from national government to invest in affordable housing, but City Hall calculations suggest he would need four times that – around £2.7bn a year – to build enough social and affordable homes.
It comes as City Hall data from the Housing in London report shows social housing has gone from being the capital’s largest housing tenure in the 1980s to the lowest in 2017, accounting for just 21% of London’s households.
London’s overall home ownership rate has also fallen. In 1990, around half of London households were headed by a 25-34 year, with around half of the households headed by someone over 65 owning too.
But now the proportion of young people owning their own home has fallen to around a quarter, whilst amongst the over-65s the opposite has been the case, with the proportion at almost three-quarters.
Khan said the capital’s rising housing costs now generate £3.4bn in Stamp Duty receipts, and should be devolved so he could invest in new homes and infrastructure.
He said: “London’s housing landscape has worsened dramatically over the past 30 years, and we now risk a whole generation of Londoners being blocked from enjoying the benefits of a good quality, genuinely affordable home.
“This data shows that accessing social housing or homeownership is now a pipe-dream for too many. London’s rocketing house prices mean we are contributing billions of pounds in stamp duty to the Treasury, when we could be using it to build new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes.
“Control of Stamp Duty has been devolved to Scotland and Wales and it’s vital that Ministers devolve it to London too, which has a population larger than Scotland and Wales combined.
“City Hall are doing everything we can to ensure new genuinely affordable homes get built, including our programme dedicated to helping councils build more housing.
“But the housing crisis facing our city, and in particular young Londoners, is immense. The Government must rise to the scale of the challenge and provide significantly more powers and funding so we can build the homes that Londoners so desperately need.”
However, Khan’s claims were quickly rejected rebuffed by London Assembly member Andrew Boff, who said the mayor has already had plenty of money.
He said: “Khan is the worst advocate for further devolution to London due to his inability to spend the £4.82bn that Government has already given him in the expectation that he will build the homes that Londoners need.
“If it’s a choice between churning out press releases or actually building houses, Londoners know what they want: An end to the excuses and for the mayor to get on with it.”