Housing boost for councils in London

Boris Johnson is looking to set up a housing company to help cut costs when local authorities in the city bring land forward for development.

The Mayor says the capital’s developers and housing investors are facing numerous difficulties including raising finances to build and falling house prices and land values making many housing schemes no longer viable.

He says there is a pressing need to look for ways to use the limited public sector investment more effectively and for more imaginative means of bringing in private financial resources to invest in new homes in the capital.

The Mayor will also prepare a submission, ready for any new Government, setting out what is needed to assist him to maintain the delivery of London’s housing pipeline in the face of limited public sector resources in the next spending round.

Mr Johnson has also asked for an audit of land owned across the Greater London Authority family, including Transport for London, the London Development Agency and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, to identify potential development sites.

More than 30,000 new homes could be created in the capital by freeing up underused land owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), he told his Housing Investment Summit.

"We’re already on track to deliver 50,000 affordable homes which will benefit thousands of Londoners but this success cannot be an excuse to take our foot off the pedal. We have to set our sights to the future and start working now to deliver the next 50,000 and the 50,000 after that.

"The GLA is sitting on hundreds of potential housing sites that could be used to build more than 32,000 new homes and I know we’re not alone. London’s councils, private institutions and HCA can all do the same but the cost and red tape involved is suffocating."

* London Councils welcomed the development but has warned that providing more social rented affordable housing will be the key to meeting the needs of Londoners, particularly in the current economic climate.

 

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