James campaigned for Sadiq Khan to be elected as Mayor of London and helped to deliver his housing manifesto. Now he’s working with the Mayor and his team to deliver his vision for London. Here he talks about how they’re working to tackle the housing crisis – and the great progress that’s been made so far.
Everyone in the team shares a commitment to making London a city that works for all Londoners. There’s a real drive to making a difference – from building council homes to winning the argument over ending unfair evictions. I’m proud of the team’s dedication to delivering the Mayor’s vision.
The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing Londoners and a top priority for the Mayor. He’s doing everything within his power to tackle it, with a dedicated, strong, enthusiastic team behind him.
I campaigned for Sadiq to be elected as Mayor, and I helped develop his manifesto around housing. After he won, I was hugely honoured when he asked me to help implement this manifesto by being his Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development.
Three years into Sadiq’s term, we’re working as hard as, if not harder than, the day we arrived. The Mayor leads from the front with his enthusiasm and drive. That enthuses people to follow Sadiq and deliver his vision for London.
I’m a Londoner and I grew up in Shepherds Bush and West Ealing, with both my parents working in housing associations. I’ve long been determined to do what I can to improve housing affordability and standards. When you start working in housing, you realise how fundamental it is to making London a fairer place for all.
We need more council and social housing, and we need to help private renters and first-time buyers. It’s hard work and high stakes but if we don’t get it right, London will never be a city for all Londoners.
Working here is hugely rewarding. You can see the new homes we’re helping councils to build, which they weren’t able to do on this scale just a few years ago. You can see rogue landlords being put on our public database, and before that wasn’t the case. You can see new services helping rough sleepers off the streets, that previously didn’t exist.
In 2018, on the second anniversary of Sadiq coming into office, we launched a new programme to build council homes for Londoners. It was the first time City Hall has ever had a programme dedicated to this. We had a target of 10,000 homes, and we’re on track to exceed that.
It’s been a fantastic three years so far, and we’ve got a lot more to do. It feels as exciting and urgent as the day we got here.
Sadiq represents a modern, confident London. People enjoy working for the GLA as an institution headed up by a champion of London, and a champion of the values we hold dear – whether that’s being open to the world, embracing diversity, or building a city for all.
By working in Housing and Land, you can play your part in steering the capital in a fairer direction. It’s a unique position and an amazing opportunity to have influence across the whole of London.
For anyone who wants to join us, I would say read up on what we’re doing. Really understand what drives the Mayor, and all of us who work for him. Working in this team feels like you’re signing up for an exciting mission. Imagine your contribution towards that, and if you’re inspired, you’ll fit in well here.