|Link to Evening Standard|
"Building houses is one of the things that the British used to be quite good at, like roasting beef and writing poetry. Before the war, we regularly built 300,000 houses a year, mainly private developments. In the Fifties and Sixties, again we built more than 300,000 houses a year, this time nearly half of them council houses.
"But in the past few years we have struggled to pass the 100,000 mark. As a result, we have brought upon ourselves a dire housing shortage.
"The signs are unmistakable, certainly in London and the South-East. Private rents go on rising and so do house prices. If the price of food had risen at the same rate as housing over the past 30 years, a supermarket chicken would now cost £47 and a jar of instant coffee £20.
"Shelter reported last month that private rents in London rose by an average of £750 a year in 2012."