It is time to stop building The Wrong Housing

..So lets think about the housing Londoners need

In the first two phases of our work on London housing we focused on diagnosing what is wrong with our current housing development model and advocated for those negatively impacted by it.

In other words we've talked about the fact that we are building the wrong housing to meet the needs of Londoners and we have advocated for those whose life chances are damaged by this failure to meet Londoners' housing needs.

And all the while London's housing waiting lists have grown, alongside numbers of families stuck in Temporary Accommodation - often in unsuitable and over-crowded conditions, frequently placed far away from families and support networks, and even from children's schools and parents' jobs.

In addition social homes are still being sold off as a result of central Government policies that London's government has little or no power over, meaning that stock erosion continues, even as the need for more genuinely affordable social rented housing grows.

Meanwhile controversy rages over the 'estate redevelopment' plans of London councils - often meaning housing demolition - as they look to redevelop existing social housing estates. A policy which can lead to years or even decades of emptiness and disinvestment, prior to large-scale building projects which may fail to add to levels of social housing provision.

The third phase of this work is about how London's communities believe we could do better, or maybe even get it right.

It is time we reduced homelessness, instead of building it into our development models.

Finding a socially sustainable development model

We are engaging with communities and organisations across London to seek their input on the housing London needs and to gather insights on how London's intense housing crisis impacts on those facing particular challenges or vulnerabilities.

We want to know how these are compounded or worsened as a result, whether through housing insecurity, lack of access to genuinely affordable housing, or other impacts - including increased travel times and being forced to move from areas of London where they have longstanding personal and family connections, in search of more affordable housing options.

And then there's the areas of London regenerated by homes sold to distant 'investor' landlords who prefer to rent them as Airbnbs, rather than offer them on secure tenancies to Londoners at affordable rents.

Areas hollowed out by lack of local services, because vacancy levels mean that they can't be supported anymore, areas seeing schools closing because young families can't afford to live there...

We want to hear and advocate for the ideas of those impacted by London's housing crisis

But above all we want to hear what might turn things around...

You might think it is simple: London needs more genuinely affordable homes for Londoners, right?

But it just isn't happening, is it? Not at sufficient scale - some would say not at any scale, as the waiting lists lengthen and numbers of homeless families increase.

So lets try and imagine how we could change this: we'd like to hear your ideas

For more information about this project and how to engage with it please email Chris Bailey

click here to email Chris Bailey