Building recovery: closing the gap

Building recovery: closing the gap

Large inequalities in wealth and shared opportunities have long been a problem in London. Before the Covid-19 crisis, 28% of Londoners were found to be living in poverty, compared to 22% across the UK.  The Covid-19 pandemic has amplified pre-existing socioeconomic inequalities in the nation’s capital, with shocking and disproportionate effects seen in relation to factors such as gender, ethnicity, disability and age.

The widening gap in numbers
307,000 More Londoners have made unemployment related claims since March 2020 [1]
23% Increase in homelessness in the capital in the last quarter of 2020 [2]
£350 – £720 Predicted loss in income for ethnic minority households in London due to tax and welfare changes
1 in 12 Private renters in London have fallen behind on their rent during lockdown [3]

Recovery will be one of the biggest challenges of 2021. Critical to this will be addressing the devastating impact of Covid-19, as well as Brexit, on equalities. If we don’t tackle this head on, we risk an even more polarised city of haves and havenots, pervading all aspects of city life from homes to employment to wellbeing. With pressures including ongoing crisis management, uncertainty, resource deficit and a lack of joinedup working, it is hard to know which way to turn. 

Future of London’s major 2021 project – Building Recovery: closing the gap – will share successful approaches to tackling the equity gap from across the capital, as well as other UK and overseas cities. Linking to London’s recovery missions, themes include: upskilling for green and growth industries, affordable homes, public space, transport, and culture and the arts in London and beyond. The programme will shine a light on innovative projects working to close the equity gap and explore how new ways of collaborating across sectors – including communities – can safeguard fairer cities for all. 

Case studies


Building recovery insights report – The challenge of a fair recovery

Download and read the full report

Upcoming events

24 February, 10 am to 12 pm
Building recovery: closing the gap recommendations report launch 
Register here

Past events

29 April, 4 to 5 pm
The ‘Covid decade’: Exploring the long-term implications of Covid-19 and how we jump start recovery
Event write-up and video

18 May, 2 to 3.30 pm
The scale of challenge and opportunity in building recovery roundtable
Event write-up and video

19 May – 14 June
Building recovery survey
Explore the results here

28 July, 2 to 4 pm
Site visit to Aberfeldy, Poplar
Event write-up

11 November, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
Building recovery conference, Hilton London Tower Bridge
Full programme hereResources here

Get involved

We’re keen to connect with organisations involved in working with London’s post-Covid recovery and equity across the capital. If you have experience to share or are interested in partnering with FoL on this project, please contact Hannah Gibbs.


Building Recovery sponsor logos

Related content

Conference audience

Building Recovery Conference summary

Our Building Recovery Conference sought to respond directly to the challenges the built environment sector is facing to create a fair and inclusive recovery from Covid. This summary provides the highlights and some practical tips for those wanting to have an impact on inequalities.