Unaffordable London Debate Panel Members – Their Best Quotes

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London Met’s distinguished panel had a range of views on the current state of housing in London, and the nation at large. Here are some highlights from the debate…

Andrew Boff – Conservatives:
On housing issues: “The trouble is there are no quick fixes now, -once you spend years and years of not building enough you can’t just suddenly find the land to build the houses.”

“We need to have a mayor or administration that realistically addresses those issues.”


Betsy Dillner – Generation Rent:
On starter homes: “Is that really the best use of our government funds to help those people up the ladder? I would argue not.“

On the Housing Bill: “If people really knew the implications of the Housing Bill it could spark riots.”


Tom Copley – Labour:
On students: “I think that we should be trying to create a situation where people’s material background is not a determining factor as to where they end up at university.”

On student housing: “I do think that there are specifically issues around students.”

On the meaning of affordable housing: “This is the kind of abuse of language that Orwell would have recognised.”


Dr. Kristian Niemietz – Institute for Economic Affairs:
On student housing: “They are all just different manifestations of the same problem which is there are just not enough housing in London.”

On rent control: It “is just a way of shutting up the messenger who brings the bad news… or putting a gun to the messenger’s head and force him to deliver good news when the underline reality is a bad one.”

On the Green Belt: “Let the farmers sell and let those people develop these places.”


Sian Berry – Green Party:
On possible housing solutions: “The Mayor who gets elected this year needs to get stuck in to working with a whole range of people to get more homes, more quickly and more affordably.”

“What we need to do in London is really really dig into the fact we have public land and public funds that we can put towards getting a new model starting.”


By Barbara Sike, Michaela Nagyidaiova and Julia Blanka Spalek

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