To be launched in 2018, Crossrail is now not only an obsession for planners, engineers and architects, but is also being sold as a potential catalyst for much-needed housing investment and regeneration. Will the capital’s biggest infrastructure project, funded mainly by the public purse, help address its housing problems? The evidence suggests that, despite the praise, it may make them worse.
London, according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers, will be a majority-renting city (60%) by 2025. This majority is paying for Crossrail (recently unveiled as the Elizabeth Line) through their taxes and, soon, their fares. They will be rewarded with higher rents and house prices.
Estate agents and property developers, at least, are optimistic.