London’s housing crisis hurting business, survey says

The Chancellor could help address London’s lack of affordable housing by allowing London Boroughs to borrow more to build new homes, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said in its Budget submission.

Research by LCCI has repeatedly found that the undersupply of housing is impacting London businesses, causing difficulties for employers and employees.

A recent LCCI commissioned poll, by ComRes, of over 1000 London businesses found that 48% ranked better availability and affordability of housing as the top two ways to improve retention of staff.

To keep pace with London’s rapidly increasing population, forecast to reach 10 million citizens by 2030, the capital will require at least 50,000 new homes every year over the next two decades.

LCCI is asking the Chancellor to review the local authority Housing Revenue Account Borrowing cap in order to deliver greater numbers of new homes and estate regeneration.

Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said, “Rising housing costs and the lack of affordable homes, either to rent or to own, within commutable distances of workplaces is generating pressure on employers to increase wages, leads to limited employee productivity and can often create challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.

“Local councils should be empowered to build more local homes in their local areas.

“Removing their inability to borrow sufficiently to invest in housing could ease the pressure on our growing city”.

Separately, within its Budget submission, LCCI is also calling for Business Rates to be frozen, reviewed and, in London’s case, decoupled from the national rating system.

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