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Boris unveils new housing strategy for London

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Boris unveils new housing strategy for London

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Boris unveils new housing strategy for London Boris unveils new housing strategy for London

Mayor of London Boris Johnson today launched his new draft London Housing Strategy for consultation, alongside proposals for funding of more than £1 billion to support the delivery of 45,000 more low cost homes.

The Mayor says the strategy aims to put in place the resources to deliver more than 42,000 homes a year. But, he says, this can only be achieved through public-private partnership.

He said: "Only by working together can we agree a long-term financial settlement with national government, free up local councils to build, promote institutional investment in new housing, bring forward surplus public land and develop Housing Zones across the capital to drive delivery.

"The strategy also aims to make sure that the homes we build better reward those who work hard to make this city a success – by massively increasing opportunities for home ownership, by improving the private rented sector and by ensuring working Londoners have priority for affordable homes to rent."

Facts and figures revealed in today's housing strategy consultation document show:

  • £33,000 is the average household income of Londoners who buy through our First Steps home ownership scheme.
  • Over £5 billion is being invested in building and improving homes in London.
  • 210 football pitches worth of land has been releaed since 2012, boosting construction to the tune of £3.6 billion.
  • 100,000 jobs and thousands of new homes are being created in brand new neighbourhoods across London.

Responding to the strategy, Sir Steve Bullock, executive member for housing at London Councils, said: "The announcement of funding for housing in London is welcome; I am interested to see what proportion of this is new money. It sounds like a lot, but represents a fraction of the homes London needs.

"London Councils is calling for over 800,000 homes to be built by 2021 to safeguard London's future prosperity and Londoners' jobs: councils must be allowed to borrow and build for the remainder of the decade to have any hope of dealing with this housing crisis.?"

Tom Copley, London Assembly Labour Housing spokesperson, said: “The Mayor’s draft housing strategy describes the problems with London’s housing market, but does very little to address them.

"We believe the Mayor is underestimating the need for housing in London, he says we need 42,000 new homes a year, but independent experts believe we need at least 60,000 a year.

"Funding for building affordable housing has dropped from £1.2 billion a year between 2008 and 2011 to just £1 billion for the whole of 2015 to 2018. This is nowhere near enough to provide the affordable homes we need at rents that are affordable to low paid Londoners.

“It is a shame the Mayor has wasted the last five years and has failed to tackle London’s housing crisis. His draft strategy sets out the scale of the problem, but its lack of ambition commits us to a future of unaffordable housing, rogue practices in private rented housing, and a continuing chronic shortage of housing that threatens to undermine the competiveness of our great city.”

Green Party London Assembley member Darren Johnson, added: “The Mayor is building homes for investors and leaving crumbs for Londoners. Only wealthy landlords can afford most of the new homes built in London, leaving people renting on insecure tenancies, losing hope of saving a deposit or getting to the top of the council waiting list.

"He boasts about his track record on affordable housing, but he will leave office 50,000 homes short of the number he needed to build.

"The Mayor needs a radical vision for housing, with enough money to build the social housing we desperately need, regulations to stabilise rents and give tenants more security, and taxes to damp down demand from rich investors.”

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