Jeremy Corbyn outlined his plans for tackling the housing crisis on the BBC One Andrew Marr show over the weekend. He used his 20 minutes to tell us that if elected, the party would give local authorities the power to take over properties left deliberately vacant by their owners to give immediate housing to the homeless.
Mr Corbyn is right to point the finger at vacant luxury builds. Look up skywards in London and you’ll see thousands of exclusive apartments tailored to the foreign owner, absent all year round. A new Guardian investigation revealed this weekend that more than half of nearly 2,000 luxury properties built in London last year remain unsold. What a waste, when London’s transport hubs heave with thousands of commuters who sacrifice several hours of their lives travelling to an office that might be just a short walk away from these semi-deserted developments. It’s contributed to what we describe as the ‘hollowing out’ of central London. And it’s just one of the contributing factors to the housing crisis that we are working to tackle with our ‘Town Flats’ concept.
Of course, there is no silver bullet to boosting housing numbers, which is why I welcomed the opportunity to hear from others in the industry at London First’s Building London Week a couple of weeks ago.
He used his 20 minutes to tell us that if elected, the party would give local authorities the power to take over properties left deliberately vacant by their owners to give immediate housing to the homeless.