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Since Boris Johnson became mayor of London almost 8 years ago, the city has experienced the biggest housing challenge since the Victorian era.
And as he prepares to leave office early next year, the crisis is still far from solved.
Since 2008, London's economy and population have boomed, pushing house prices to above their previous pre-financial crisis high.
The price of an average London home has increased by 44% since Mr. Johnson took office in May 2008.
As a result, housing is the issue on every Londonist's lips.
Soaring house prices have been accompanied by an influx of foreign cash,
triggering heated arguments about who should live in the new high-rise towers beginning to dot the skyline.
Loose lower capital from less safe economic regions like Russia, China, and the middle east
have been heading for the residential property markets in London and New York principally.
This is taking out the top-end of property from the London market, because it's appeared merely being used as safe deposit boxes for this capital.
This then has an effect in pulling the rest of the market upwards.
Couple that with a lack of supply, and you'll see why prices are skyrocketing.
As in the Victorian era, Mr. Johnson believed Londonists should be housed within the city's boundaries.
When the capital's population grew rapidly in the 19th century, areas like Belgravia were built in a construction boom.
London's population has grown by nearly 730,000 people since Boris Johnson took office. He, too, faces a housing challenge.
Mr. Johnson's first target in 2008 was to build 32,000 homes a year.
Now, that figure has been revised up to 49,000, and some people say the city needs more than 60,000 a year.
But despite upping the target, London built just 20,520 homes in 2014 and 15.
Meanwhile, the affordability crisis has pushed the generation out of home ownership and into the private renting sector, Boris Johnson's critics claim.
I think that he's made city hall a make-up for property developers all across the world, and we need that investments to build the homes that we need.
The problem is that we're not actually building the homes that we need. The homes are being built at 1 million, 2 million more,
and what we really need is homes for people who can, you know, work as a teacher, as a police officer and still have a safe, affordable place that they can call home.
And too often we see those developers who have sort of skirting their affordability, obligations,
and that's really gonna have a big effect on the job market as we already see entry level jobs are being hard to fill because people just can't afford to live in the city anymore.
In a bid to tackle the problem, Mr. Johnson and colleagues have shifted from myriad fragmented-funding programs to a holistic approach,
focused primarily on the native specific neighborhoods called housing zones.
One of the things that we've seen in recent years, even though London's had a buoyant market,
is that actually there's only a handful of areas, a handful of bureaus that have contributed significant numbers of new homes.
So what we're doing is working in partnership with both the private sector and local government, local authorities, to designate 20 areas of London,
to make sure that we have a real focus around accelerating residential house building activity,
whether that be around the transport node, whether that be around a town-centered region and ration,
or whether that be around turning Brownfield land, usually ex-industrial land, into new homes, beautiful new homes.
Critics say much more could have been done during Mr. Johnson's time in office. But City Hall says it needs more power.
So Mr. Johnson has initiated the biggest expansion of local power since The Greater London Council was abolished by Margaret Thatcher in 1986.
He has added control over housing policy and spending to the mayor's primary area of responsibility, transport.
When the JLA was originally set up, it could've invested in housing, now it can't.
I think it's also really really important as a strong role for London government in assembling land,
so that we can go in that and really transform a place and look at the powers that we have and the resource that we have in order to enable that.
Mr. Johnson will leave office next spring, and London is set to see a fierce battle to be his successor.
His housing power grab will leave the next mayor as the most powerful politician London has seen for a generation.
K. Tailen, Financial Times, London.
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Tackling London's housing crisis | FT World

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Ray Du 2015 年 10 月 15 日 に公開
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