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Bishop challenges new London Mayor to deliver on affordable housing promises

Peter Hill, the Bishop of Barking, has challenged Sadiq Khan, the new London Mayor, to keep his promise to build 1,000 'community land trust' homes by 2020 - affordable homes built by a non-profit community land trust (CLT) on land that the community has gifted or purchased.

Mr Khan told the 6,000-strong London Citizens' Mayoral Assembly at the end of April: “I am completely committed to CLTs and will work to spread them across London. We should be more ambitious than 1,000 new affordable homes in London. Let’s build more. Housing is people’s homes, not an investment to make profit.”

Bishop Peter was one of the speakers at the event at the Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Bishop challenged the candidates for London Mayor to deliver on their promises on affordable housing, including more CLTs in London.

“Rising house prices in East London are pricing out ordinary working people,” said Bishop Peter.

“This contributes to the churn of people moving in and out of the area, which is bad for community. Housing needs to be affordable, stable and permanent. Community Land Trusts are one of the ways to tackle the problem.”

“I hope there will be some CLTs in my area of east London soon,” Bishop Peter said.

Welcoming Mr Khan to his first day of work at City Hall before a large gathering from Citizens UK, the Bishop added:

"We are not just a crowd. We are committed to the Mayor and taking forward commitments."

Picture

Bishop Hill welcomes the new Mayor to City Hall on May 9, 2016. Picture courtesy of Citizens UK.

More information

  • CLTs are local organisations set up and run by ordinary people. Land is gifted or purchased by the community, homes are built, and the CLT remains long-term steward of the homes. The aim is that homes are genuinely affordable, based on what people actually earn in their area, not just for now but for every future occupier. The number of CLTs has grown from 40 to 175 in 5 years.
  • London’s first CLT, St. Clement’s in Tower Hamlets, came about after 2,500 people turned up at an event in a previous contest for the London Mayor and challenged the candidates to provide a CLT in East London. St. Clement’s is a pilot project of 23 homes. Building work is under way. More CLTs in London are in prospect. 
  • Mr Khan, who was elected Mayor of London on May 5, also told the Mayoral Assembly: “ I pledge to name and shame rogue landlords and to work with local councils.”
  • Bishop Peter hosted a seminar in March at Queen Mary University for church leaders in his area to learn more about CLTs organised by Citizens UK and Carol Richards, the Mission in Regeneration Adviser of Chelmsford Diocese. A full report of the Community Land Trust seminar is available here.
  • For further information contact Carol Richards, tel  07870 764703 email c.richards475@btinternet.com.