Boris Johnson's affordable rent model threatened
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Finance, Local Government
Pickles hands London Mayor new powers in Localism Bill shake-up
London Mayor Boris Johnson's plans to set affordable housing rents at 80% of the market rate could be derailed by a London Assembly vote today.
Labour's assembly members have complained that the Mayor's changes to the London Plan will lead to many new properties meant for people on low incomes becoming unaffordable.
Under Johnson's proposals, London boroughs will be prevented from setting caps in their local development plans on the level of rent that can be charged for new affordable rented housing.
The Mayor rejected two of the three changes to affordable housing policy that were recommended by the planning Inspector.
Labour has said that the vote is "an historic opportunity for the Assembly to reject a mayoral strategy if a two-thirds majority can be secured".
Nicky Gavron AM, Labour Group planning spokesperson, said: “Boris Johnson’s changes to the London Plan will push affordable housing out of the reach of the many Londoners on low, and in some areas, modest incomes. This will also drive up rent, increase land prices and further distort London’s housing market. Boris must take on the recommendations of the independent inspector, listen to local authorities and revise his London Plan.
“Combined with the welfare reforms, the Mayor’s changes will make huge swathes of inner London even more unaffordable. Unless the Assembly can prevent this, it will ghettoise the city and put intolerable strain on a range of already overburdened local services in outer London.
"It makes a mockery of localism in London: this is a situation where all boroughs of all political control are calling for the ability to set local affordable rent caps to reflect local circumstances and local need.
“The Mayor’s changes to the community infrastructure levy (CIL) will result in a shift of money from local communities, where it was intended to be spent, to fund regional infrastructure. This is not consistent with the national policy on CIL and is a deep concern for local authorities who depend on this money to fund local projects.”
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