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Sadiq Khan says ‘London needs homes to live in not penthouses bought by foreign investors’

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Sadiq Khan has told the government it needs to build homes for Londoners rather than foreign investors.

“We’ve got to build far, far, far more homes in London and they have got to be genuinely affordable, not luxury penthouse flats bought by foreigners for investment,” the mayor told My London .

“[We need] homes that Londoners can afford to live in.”

READ MORE: The central London ghost town where properties sell for under £1m but a third of them are sitting empty

Sadiq Khan being interviewed at a rally in Westminster today

Khan complained the capital’s housing needs had not been for a long time by those in power .

“Successive governments have let down our city when it comes to building the homes we need to meet the demand. Supply nowhere near meets demand.”

The mayor spoke to My London ahead of a speech to the Leaseholders Together rally held in Parliament square today (Thursday, September 16).

Addressing the crowd he revealed that he had spoken to residents who felt suicidal because they were trapped living in buildings with unsafe cladding, similar to the type found on the Grenfell Tower.

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He said that he was “angry” and “heartbroken” that so many safety issues remained in the capital’s buildings four years since the tragic fire in the west London block which killed 72 people.

“I’m angry that four and a half years on things haven’t improved too much and heartbroken for the families I speak to,” he continued.

“Many of them are leaseholders, whose dreams of being a homeowner came true when they moved into their homes.

“[These] should be places for safety and enjoyment, not stress, anxiety and danger.”

The mayor highlighted the scale of the issue in London, where the London Fire Brigade has found safety issues with more than 1,000 buildings.

In many properties residents were facing huge service charge bills to pay for the work required or ‘waking watch’ patrols to keep buildings safe.

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Sadiq Khan addressed the large crowd of protesters gathered in Westminster today

He called on new housing secretary Michael Gove to pay to fix the issues immediately and worry about recouping the money from those responsible later.

“We’re trying to persuade the government to stop dilly-dallying and pay for the remediation now and later on get reimbursed from the housebuilders and those who own the land rather than having leaseholders continue the misery.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government said: “We’re spending over £5 billion to fund the replacement of unsafe cladding in the highest risk buildings and are making the biggest improvements to building safety in a generation.

“Building owners and industry should make buildings safe without passing on costs to leaseholders – and our new measures will legally require owners of high-rise buildings to prove they have tried all routes to cover the cost of essential safety works.

“We delivered more than 243,000 homes last year, including over 41,000 in London, an increase of 14% on the previous year. We are also investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over the next five years to help councils, housing associations and others deliver new homes.”

Do you live in a block of flats where all the other properties are left empty by foreign investors? [email protected] wants to hear from you

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/sadiq-khan-says-london-needs-21590161