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Friday, March 06, 2009


Rob H

Did Ken do any better on affordable housing? He was in power during the greatest housing bubble in history, yet he did nothing to keep housing affordable. Now you carp about Boris and affordable housing? I don't like him much either but don't forget that the housing shortages have developed further over 10 years of Labour government, during a time of constant economic growth. Arguably, Labour could have done something about it but they didn't. It's probably a lot to do with MPs and their over generous housing expenses. They don't really feel the pain do they? That's why they do nothing.

Chris N

How exactly was the Mayor of London with his restricted power meant to 'keep housing affordable'. Ken did all he could namely:

a) persuading the government to allow him to decide housing strategy in London and new developments (this was not within the remit of the Mayor at first); and

b) 'forcing' new developments to meet 50% affordable housing targets. These targets were flexible so as to not make building uneconomic (eg. a development in Bethnal Green only had 35% affordable housing, but the developer wouldn't have built it if he'd been forced to have more).

The comment in my blog entry about Boris and affordable housing was not meant to be a wider remark about housing bubbles.

House prices have been high for those not on the property ladder (such as myself) and are naturally correcting themselves. I can't comment on whether there is a 'housing shortage' in the capital.

Rob H

OK, so Ken did all he could, did Labour. I speak as someone who believed Gordon Brown when he said in 1997 that he wouldn't let house prices get out of control (1997 budget speech). I believed in his ideas of prudence. Something went wrong and a bubble formed under his watch. I have great difficulty believing in him again. I'm not a Tory plant by the way... just someone who thinks housing has been neglected by Labour and they still don't have any ideas to put it right other than relying on speculators and the private sector.

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