Press release by Grant Thornton UK – Grant Thornton UK LLP has joined forces with London First to explore ways businesses and public sector organisations can work together to tackle the shortage of housing in London.

This partnership will see Grant Thornton supporting London First’s Fifty Thousand Homes campaign to double housebuilding in London to at least 50,000 homes a year by the end of the next Mayoralty in 2020, in order to protect and enhance the capital’s competitiveness as a global city. Other supporters include the CBI, Shelter, and the Federation of Small Businesses, London.

Grant Thornton will lead an inquiry, working with London First to examine potential solutions to the shortage of housing in the capital. The inquiry will consider whether employer-led schemes and a new ‘build to rent’ model could help increase supply and solve the shortage of affordable housing in London.

This inquiry forms part of Grant Thornton’s commitment to help create a vibrant economy – one which realises the shared potential of businesses, cities, people and communities across the UK.

Will McWilliams, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP who will join the advisory board of London First’s Fifty Thousand Homes campaign, said:

"London is in the grip of a housing crisis. The chronic shortage of affordable housing in London is affecting everyone: from the business community losing talent to other areas with more affordable housing; to the 283,000 households on London council housing waiting lists; and those families spending 59% of their pay packet on rent, unable to get on the property ladder with the average house price in London now nine times the average annual salary.

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"At Grant Thornton, we’re looking at ways to create a vibrant economy, where businesses, people and communities can flourish. Housing is a fundamental part of this and our inquiry will investigate the best ways we can get organisations from across the private and public sectors in London working to solve the housing shortage.

"We’re excited to be working with London First and supporting their Fifty Thousand Homes campaign. Together we believe we can convene London’s largest employers and key players in the housing market to deliver specific measures that will help increase the supply of housing across the private rented, social and private ownership sectors."

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive at London First, said:

"Business has a vital part to play in helping London get the housing it needs. We’re delighted that Grant Thornton is joining forces with the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign as a new mayor enters City Hall, an exciting opportunity for new ideas and new commitments to increase housebuilding."