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Housing shortage will stifle London’s growth, say business

Commenting on Labour’s commitment to build more homes, business membership organisation London First today stated that a failure to provide enough homes for London’s growing population will put a brake on the city’s economic success. Politicians, planners and developers must work together to accelerate house building in the capital.

London First has carried out research among its members in partnership with London & Quadrant housing association (L&Q).  This has revealed that 68% of respondents are worried about the impact that a shortage of housing and high prices are already having on their ability to recruit and retain staff.

With London’s population expected to grow to 10 million by 2030 and growth in both rents and purchase prices continuing to outstrip national trends, some 75% believe that the cost of housing will be a problem for them in the future and 70% feel that it threatens London’s future success.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:

“We have not built enough homes to accommodate London’s growing population.  It’s not rocket science to see that the solution it to build more homes. We need a step change in house building which requires government, the Mayor and the boroughs to work together to create a new housing settlement for London that will deliver the volume of homes we need.”

David Montague, Chief Executive of L&Q, said:

“Leading corporations agree that London’s housing shortage threatens their ability to attract the staff they need and damages the economic prospects of the capital. Business wants action now, and believes more public investment in this area is a necessity.”

The survey results are from responses from 28 London First members, comprising predominantly of large businesses across sectors including professional services firms, retailers, engineers, universities and transport providers. Housing sector members were not surveyed.

As part of the research, members were asked for their own experiences of the impact of housing shortages on their business and their thoughts on possible solutions.

A selection of the comments follows.

“Recruitment of graduates hasn’t been a problem, but finding affordable, reasonable, rented accommodation close to central London has become much more of a challenge in the last few years. Moving further out involves higher travelling costs and finding a balance is becoming more difficult.”

John Turzynski, Director
Arup

“We would like to recruit nationally and perhaps on occasion internationally and housing costs will likely be a factor for potential staff contemplating a move to London”

John Payne, Director of Human Resources
University of Roehampton

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. London First is a business membership organisation with the mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. It will be bringing together a group of business leaders to examine the issue of housing supply and will report in early 2014.

2. L&Q, which has been creating places where people want to live for fifty years, manages 70,000 homes across London and the South East and is one of the capital’s leading residential developers.

3. Note on survey – We surveyed our members to help us to understand the extent to which businesses in London consider high housing costs and a lack of new homes as a threat to London’s physical and economic growth and a barrier to attracting and retaining a talented workforce. The survey results are from responses from 28 London First members.

4. Link to results

For further information, please contact: Fran Edwards, Media Relations Manager, London First.  Email: fedwards@londonfirst.co.uk  Tel: 020 7665 1427  Mobile: 07535 977004  Twitter: @London_First

 

 

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