Press Release

Our response to London Councils report on sharp fall in London private rental listings

Responding to new London Councils research highlighting a 41% fall in London properties available for private rent since the pandemic, Jon Tabbush, Senior Researcher at Centre for London, said:

“We already knew that London has consistently failed to build enough homes to meet the demand of people who want to live here, but these shocking findings highlight an unacceptable worsening of our housing crisis, pushing too many Londoners into poverty and homelessness. They show that London is experiencing the sharpest reduction in the supply of privately rented properties of anywhere in the UK, exacerbating the unavailability of homes to rent caused by surges in demand after the pandemic.

Our research made it clear that the strain faced by local authorities to provide good-quality housing with limited resources means Londoners are ending up stuck in temporary accommodation instead. This type of housing is often unsuitable to the needs of families, with cramped conditions creating significant knock-on effects for health and wellbeing.

The government must recognise that its own financial support is inadequate for supporting people out of homelessness, as evidenced by the stark revelation from this report that just 2.3% of home listings in London are affordable on Local Housing Allowance rates. The welfare system is not fit for purpose, and Local Housing Allowance must be uprated to once again cover the 30th percentile of rents in London, matching the real cost of the city’s housing.

Piecemeal solutions are not enough to build the good-quality, affordable homes that every Londoner needs and deserves. In the medium term, a step-change in funding for new social housing is the best response to a shrinking buy-to-let sector, so that vulnerable tenants can move off local authority waiting lists into secure, long-term homes.

The government must work with local authorities and housing providers to get to grips with this crisis, before more people are pushed into homelessness or out of the capital entirely.”