London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced yesterday plans to earmark £250m for City Hall to use for the purchase and preparation of land for new and affordable housing.
The funds will be used alongside the £3.15bn affordable housing budget announced in last year’s Autumn Statement.
The money raised from selling this land to housebuilders will be reinvested to buy new land for affordable homes. This will aid the Mayor and City Hall in delivering their target of approximately 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021.
The move has been cautiously welcomed by commentators, who say that any additional government funds invested into housebuilding is helpful, however they are skeptical that the Mayor and City Hall will be able to deliver the 90,000 projected homes. This is on the basis that private housebuilders will only choose to build homes if the returns are attractive enough.
In addition, the Mayor will shortly announce plans to bring together London’s private tenants and landlords to develop a new “London model” of renting, the end aim being better rights and more security for tenants.
The Mayor is also lobbying central government to provide a comprehensive and urgent devolution of powers to City Hall so that his ambitious targets can be met.
In an appeal to Whitehall the Mayor said ‘I will use my power and resources to their fullest, but government needs to play its part too by giving London the powers and resources we need to see an even greater step-change in the number of homes being built’
Yesterday’s announcement marks the start of a three-month consultation. Subscribe to the Currell blog (see right) for further updates.