Slums of the Future: Permitted Development conversions in London
In 2013 the government created deliberate loopholes in the planning system that allow offices and some industrial buildings to be converted into homes without full planning permission. Homes created through these permitted development rights don’t have to contribute to affordable housing and don’t have to meet space standards. My report reveals that less than 1% of homes delivered via permitted development rights in London are affordable and most don’t meet minimum space standards, with the smallest being just 10m².
Right to Buy: Wrong for London
This report revisits research I undertook five years ago which revealed the scale of the transfer of former council homes bought under Right to Buy into the private rented sector. 42% of London’s former council homes are now let by private landlords, up from 36% in 2014, sometimes back to the same councils that were forced to sell them at a discount. Right to Buy: Wrong for London argues that the Right to Buy should be scrapped.
MoreBnb? Short-term lets in London’s housing crisis
There is no doubt that short-term lettings platforms are here to stay. Many Londoners use platforms like Airbnb when travelling abroad, and there are undoubted economic benefits in terms of tourism. However, what was designed as a way for people to rent out a room, or their home while they are on holiday, is being abused by some who have started to use it to turn their homes into hotels without planning permission. This report seeks to find effective solutions which will allow legitimate homesharing to continue while clamping down on the growing professionalised sector who seek to abuse the system. It also looks at regulation in other cities, and asks what we can learn from them.
Tax Trial: A Land Value Tax for London?
The greatest challenge facing the Mayor will be achieving a step change in the level of housebuilding in London. This report seeks to offer the next Mayor a potential solution, by examining the argument for and against introducing a Land Value Tax in London. Land Value Taxation provides incentives for bringing land into more productive use, and discourages keeping land empty or derelict. Thus, it would have serious potential to bring more land forward for development, including for housing.
Out of Stock: Right to Buy, HRA reform and the future of London’s council housing stock
Based on Freedom of Information requests to London boroughs, this report assesses the net change in council housing in London over the next ten years. Councils in London anticipate that they will lose 1.5 council properties for each new home built, despite government assurances that any home sold under the reinvigorated Right to Buy scheme would be replaced one for one.
The Private Rented Sector in London
This briefing describes the state of the private rented sector in London with information on its size, growth over time, rent levels, tenant relationship with landlords & lettings agents and property conditions.
London Cost of Living Report: Fair Housing
Nearly 2,500 Londoners participated in a cost of living survey between September 2013 and January 2014. The results of this survey have formed the basis for this report into the cost of housing in London.
From Right to Buy to Buy to Let
This report reveals for the first time the scale of the transfer of former council homes bought under Right to Buy into the private rented sector. Across London 36% of homes sold under Thatcher’s flagship policy are now in the hands of private landlords. In some boroughs this figure is high as 50%. From Right to Buy to Buy to Let argues that Right to Buy has represented appalling value for money for taxpayers and suggests a number of ways to reform the policy.
In February 2013 I began an investigation on behalf of the London Assembly’s Economy Committee into the challenges facing small theatres in London. The Centre Stage report reveals the findings of this investigation and makes a number of recommendations to the Mayor, Arts Council, local authorities and theatres themselves to help strengthen and grow this vital sector of London’s economy.