The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has unveiled ambitious plans to deliver 55,000 new affordable homes by 2015 with the potential to create over 100,000 jobs over the next four years.
Speaking at the National Housing Federation, the Mayor set out the details of his revised housing strategy, which outlines how he will take on new housing powers secured in the Localism Act, tackle Londoners' housing needs and deliver 55,000 affordable homes over this investment round. This includes a significant proportion of family sized housing with new homes designed to the Mayor's larger space standards.
The Mayor has also pledged to work with landlords to improve standards in the private rented sector with a new London Rental Standard with plans to accredit 100,000 private landlords by 2016. He will unlock stalled schemes like Greenwich Peninsula, and upgrade more than 40,000 council homes to meet the Decent Homes standard as part of a £3 billion funding settlement secured from the Government to invest in London's housing.
‘Boosting house building is critical for the economy and for the thousands of Londoners who are yearning to get on to the property ladder. This strategy offers us a golden opportunity to push on full steam ahead to deliver more affordable homes and create over a hundred thousand much-needed jobs in the process. With £3 billion secured from the Government, new powers and affordable homes delivery at record levels, we have solid foundations on which to build and cement London's housing future,’ said Johnson.
The mayor delivered around 40,000 homes in the 2008/11, and will deliver around 55,000 affordable homes in the 2011/15 investment round. This includes around 16,000 affordable homes in 2011/12, the most in a financial year since the mid 1990s. This means the Mayor is on course to deliver a record 50,000 affordable homes by the end of this Mayoral term and will deliver at least 90,000 affordable homes during 2008/15.
The revised housing strategy contains a number of key commitments to boost construction, including unlocking public land for development and helping developers on stalled projects with funding to kick-start schemes.
In addition, the Mayor wants to improve Londoners' experiences of housing in the capital through the creation of a new board with London boroughs to tackle overcrowding and increasing mobility opportunities for those in social housing.
Key commitments contained within the Mayor's revised housing strategy include proposals to unlock the Greenwich Peninsula with the construction of 2,000 new homes to establish one of the largest development sites in the UK and provide a welcome boost to jobs in the construction and other associated industries.
There will also be accreditation of 100,000 landlords by 2016 to raise the quality of management in the private rented sector. This would provide a recognisable brand of accreditation which will give tenants and prospective tenants' confidence that their landlord will provide a professional service.
And there is help for first time buyers through the expansion of the First Steps programme and exploration of a rent to save model for renters to help people to acquire equity over time. The Mayor will also work closely with the government, following the announcement of its new build mortgage indemnity scheme, to boost access to home ownership in London, particularly for families.
There will also be closer working with boroughs and other major public landowners to bring forward land for development. The Mayor is committed to having a clear exit strategy for all landholdings transferred to the GLA as part of the devolution settlement. He will publish details of GLA landholdings and will launch a London Development Panel to fast-track procurement, inviting other public landholders to use the panel.
Also there will be lobbying of the government for a fair share of its £400 million Get Britain Building scheme to kick-start developments stalled in the development pipeline.
A London Overcrowding Board will be launched with boroughs, housing associations and the NHS to tackle the blight of overcrowding and meet his target of halving severe overcrowding in social rented housing by 2016.
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