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Can Europe solve London's housing crisis - debate

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Can Europe solve London's housing crisis - debate

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities

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Image: Housing via Shutterstock

People across London have been invited to take part in a debate today to discuss whether lessons from Europe can help solve the city's housing crisis.

Recent evidence showed that up to 62,000 new homes are needed in London every year to keep up with demand. However, in 2012/13 only 21,000 new homes were completed in the capital.

Meanwhile, median London rents increased by 13% in the year to October 2013.

And the number of people sleeping rough in the capital has increased every year since 2008.

Taking part in the debate will be London Assembly Labour Group housing spokesperson Tom Copley, MEPs Claude Moraes and Mary Honeyball, Anastasia De Waal of Deputy Director of Civitas, and Alex Hilton from Generation Rent.

Tom Copley said: “London is in the grip of a housing crisis across all types of tenure. House prices continue to spiral out of control, private rents are eating up ever more of Londoner’s take home pay and there is a chronic shortage of affordable and social housing with over 300,000 families on waiting lists.

"We need to look at all options for easing the housing crisis and making London affordable for people of all backgrounds and incomes. Many other European countries have a radically different approach to housing, including regulated private rents and longer tenancies.

“At tonight’s meeting at City Hall we will discuss these issues and whether we can learn from countries across Europe who have more stable housing markets. One of the key issues that must be addressed is supply, on Boris’ watch there is simply not enough housing being built.

"Last year just 21,000 homes were built in London, yet the mayor's own research shows we need three times that number to meet demand and clear the backlog that has built up. Unless action is taken this will only get worse and Londoners will be continually squeezed.”

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