A full-day event on 'Delivering London's Homes' took place at NLA this Tuesday with headline speakers Richard Blakeway, mayoral advisor on housing and David Lunts, regional London director of the HCA, as well as a host of high-level representatives from the LDA, CABE, Barratt Homes, CBRE, Land Securities, Savills, Pocket Living, PRP Architects, Arup and the London boroughs.
A reduction in available public funding as well as developers' caution over taking financial risk has resulted in a need for new innovative delivery and funding mechanisms to bring housing delivery forward, and to cater for an expected population growth of around one million people over the next 20 years, as well as the third of a million households on the waiting list for social housing. Richard Blakeway discussed how the Mayor is giving the London boroughs greater control over their housing delivery, looking to improve existing stock through private financing, encouraging a greater proportion of family homes, and creating a 'single pot' for housing investment that would give the GLA greater flexibility over their housing investments.
The HCA has also been party to a series of funding cuts, with £230m cuts already confirmed by the Chancellor and £610 uncertain until the announcement of the budget. David Lunts described how the organisation is working to encourage less reliance on grant and greater investment in the sector, either through the institutional sector or using taxpayer's money to generate a return. Despite the fact that new starts are falling away quite significantly, we have seen nearly 13,000 affordable housing completions in 09/10 and are still on track to deliver the Mayor's target of 50,000 by 2012.
David Lunts was followed by a series of public and private sector partners who demonstrated how they are working to deliver housing in this uncertain economic and political climate. Jennett Siebrets from the CBRE discussed the opportunities and barriers to investment in the Private Rented Sector (PRS). Sue Foster of the LB Enfield talked through how the borough is trying to be more creative with housing delivery through estate renewal, self-build projects, facilitating opportunities through partners, and better use of existing stock. Peter Bishop of the LDA described how public land is their most significant asset, particularly in the Royal Docks, where they are working with LB Newham to agree a common vision for the area and remove developer uncertainty.
In the afternoon, delegates had the opportunity to attend one of three seminars, looking more specifically at social housing delivery, innovative funding and delivery and design standards.
Delivering London's Homes was in association with the HCA, Barratt London and Arup, and sponsored by Austin-Smith:Lord.