'Pretty Vacant', a report highlighting how property investment in London is reducing access to much needed housing for locals, has been releasedm by the campaigning charity Action on Empty Homes.
Working in conjunction with the Trust for London, the report highlights:
- The inaccuracies in data from which London's Housing Policy is based on
- The variation in numbers of recorded empty and second homes between neighbouring Boroughs
- The short-term let markets significantly impacting on the rental market
- The tens of thosands of homes currently under construction destined for inward investment rather than providing a supply for locals.
The report goes on to outline a number of recommendations for Government in order to solve such disconnect.
Chris Bailey, Campaign Manager and author of the report for Action on Empty Homes, said:
“This report reveals why the 500 plus high-rise towers with planning permission in London won’t solve London’s housing crisis. Too many are destined to end up pretty vacant as unregulated Airbnb lets, second homes and buy to leave investments, while London councils spend over £700 million annually on insecure Temporary Accommodation for 57,000 families, including 80,000 children.”
Bharat Mehta, Chief Executive of Trust for London, said:
“The COVID-19 crisis has shown us that, more than ever, all Londoners need access to good quality housing they can afford. The Government kept many building sites open, in an effort to ease the ongoing housing crisis. We have to make sure that those workers, taking risks every day, are building homes in London for people to live, not just for investors or short-term lets.”
Will McMahon, Action on Empty Homes Director, said:
“Government can take action to solve this. We need a robust register of residential property ownership and usage and effective regulation of second homes and short-term lets. Local authorities should be given planning powers and resources to ensure homes are built for residential use rather than as wealth investments.”