At Pocket we love London. We love it’s vibrancy. That’s why it’s so disappointing to see report after report warning the capital that, the people that make it such an exciting place to live, want to leave.
“Londoners are almost unanimous in their belief that London ranks worse than elsewhere on both the affordability and the availability of housing. For the average London resident, housing affordability and housing availability are the indicators on which London performs worst.”
This is a direct quote from the Vibrant Capital report by Grant Thornton.
The urban commentator and Harvard lecturer Ed Glaeser has commented that the continued success of cities relies on a simple equation, that the cultural and commercial richness of the city must benefit inhabitants more than the downside of living in close proximity and sharing so much with others. The Grant Thornton report shows that amongst all groups researched, valued the cultural and leisure benefits of living in London alongside it’s diversity and benefits to pay and career. For too many however, these benefits are outweighed by the challenges of finding affordable and secure housing that meets their needs.
As a city, we have to move faster to help these largely young aspiring Londoners resolve their housing issues. At Pocket, we hear the stories from this audience constantly. They have been frustrated by the housing situation that they find themselves in and can’t see any way out of it. The cost of living swallows up their incomes so significantly that the prospect of ever owning a home is a distant dream. Furthermore, these costs deny them access to so much of the culture and fun that the city should provide. The equation that Ed Glaeser talks of, no longer makes sense and for a highly mobile workforce, who have never seen their career as a single “job for life”, leaving the Capital is increasingly the only answer.