Sir Martin Sorrell: 'Extreme housing pressure' in London could hit creative and other sectors

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell is among several business leaders calling for London's housing crisis to be addressed as a matter of urgency, warning that sectors such as the creative industries will struggle amid "extreme housing pressure" faced by employees.

London: Calling for housing solutions (Credit: SFL Life Style/Alamy Stock Photo)
London: Calling for housing solutions (Credit: SFL Life Style/Alamy Stock Photo)

Sorrell is among 52 company bosses to sign a letter to the London Evening Standard that warns of dire consequences if more affordable housing is not built.

The letter, compiled by business group London First, reads: "The housing crisis in London is a major problem for business. If not addressed, whole sectors, including our world-beating technology sector and creative industries, will struggle to recruit and retain staff and find themselves losing out to international competitors.

"That is why it is vital that whoever is elected as the next mayor delivers credible plans and swift action on housebuilding immediately. City Hall has already recognised that the capital needs to build 50,000 homes a year by 2020 to deal with its growing economy. But unless practical action is taken the capital will reach a tipping point as employees begin to face extreme housing pressure.

"We believe that resolving the issue is now an urgent priority, so that we can protect the creativity, innovation and energy which drive London’s business community. We must do better to safeguard the futures of our city’s young talent.

"That is why we are calling on the mayoral candidates to commit to a timetable of action on housebuilding for Londoners at all stages of life, working across all sectors, as soon as they enter office. Without clear milestones, we risk seeing another mayoral term pass with pledges stated but homes unbuilt."

Other signatories include Canary Wharf Group boss Sir George Iacobescu, architect Sir Terry Farrell, lastminute.com co-founder Baroness Lane-Fox, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye, and British Land chief executive Chris Grigg.

Is the capital's housing market proving unviable for comms professionals? PRWeek wants to hear from PR professionals about how the London housing crisis has affected them and their careers. Email prweek@haymarket.com with comments or respond via Twitter @PRWeekUKnews.

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