Standing next to the Pipers London Model at New London Architecture, Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced today (Thursday, 20th November) a £5 billion investment plan to support the capital's housing market over the next three years.
The Housing Strategy aims to boost the construction sector in London during the economic downturn, support the industry to deliver new affordable homes, and provide more sustainable routes to home ownership.
The strategy embraces new opportunities provided by the Homes and Communities Agency London Board, which will be chaired by the Mayor. The draft strategy will see the Mayor working closely with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), investing nearly £2 billion every year from the London housing budget to deliver new homes and improve existing homes.
Investment will be directed into new ways of delivering homes to tackle the credit crunch. Funding will be used to kick-start stalled developments in London, to acquire unsold market homes for affordable housing and to bring forward public sector land for new development. In addition funding will be used to develop subsidised rent and rent-to-buy schemes, which could be sold at a profit or turned into permanent affordable homes when the upturn arrives.
Through the strategy’s ‘First Steps’ programme, the Mayor wants to increase the opportunity for home ownership in London by raising the household income limit to £72,000 for low cost ownership schemes and by simplifying access to them. The strategy will initiate a big increase in the number of family sized homes available to rent and to buy, and aims to double the number of accredited landlords in the private sector to protect rights for tenants.
Notes to editors
1. The draft London Housing Strategy can be downloaded from www.london.gov.uk.
2. Following statutory consultation on this draft of the London Housing Strategy with the London Assembly and functional bodies, a further draft will be produced for statutory consultation with the public. A three-month public consultation period will commence in spring 2009, during which the Mayor would like to receive Londoners’ views about the issues raised in the strategy. However, any responses from the public received before this statutory period of public consultation cannot be considered as part of the statutory process. The strategy will then be revised again in the light of comments received from the public and, following its submission to the Secretary of State, the statutory London Housing Strategy will be published in late 2009.