[Mr Christopher Chope in the Chair] — Housing Supply (London)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:25 am on 15th July 2015.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Labour, Tooting 10:25 am, 15th July 2015

My hon. Friend is right, and that is why there is a crisis. In the King’s Cross scheme, which my hon. Friend Jeremy Corbyn will know about, one-bedroom properties are selling at £985,000. The price for a two-bedroom property there is £1.7 million. In Heygate in Elephant Park, a studio flat will cost £569,000 and a two-bedroom property will cost £800,000. It is possible to get a penthouse at a discount, at £2.1 million. We now have a city where developments have “poor doors”. There is a door for people who can afford market value and there are poor doors for those who cannot.

Freedom of information tribunals have shown that developers in Heygate, the Greenwich peninsula and Earls Court have taken advantage of the viability con, which means that they can say it is not viable to build affordable homes. I am pleased that my hon. Friend the Member for Islington North talked about Islington, which now has a new scheme that will be open and transparent. Developers will have to publish their viability assessments for schemes. I do not care whether we use the term “rent control”, “rent cap” or “rent stabilisation”. We need to sort out the rental market in London. More than half the disposable income of those who rent—a quarter of Londoners—goes on rent. That is unacceptable and is a reason why last year more than 60,000 Londoners aged between 30 and 39 left London. We have a brain drain from London caused by the housing crisis.

To compound that, we have—even in the words of the two filibustering Tory Members who spoke in the debate— a housing supply crisis in London. What is their answer? It is to sell off housing association properties and force councils to sell off their most expensive properties. That will lead to a situation in which good councils such as Islington and Camden must sell the new properties that they have built. Social cleansing is taking place in London; we are copying Paris and New York for the wrong reasons.

If the Government are going to force councils and housing associations to sell properties, all that we need is that they should require them to build one before they sell one, like for like in the same area, unless there are exceptional reasons not to. Then London will not become a city for the rich only, with outer London for those who cannot afford to live in inner London. Conservative Members who have spoken may think that a modern London of that kind is acceptable, but those of us who have made the effort to come to this 9.30 am debate, but did not get the chance to speak because of the disgraceful filibustering, want change.