Sadiq Khan unveils major new land acquisition plans as part of draft Housing Strategy for London

The housing strategy sets out how the Mayor plans to tackle the capital’s housing crisis, including £250m for land buying, but also calls on the Government to play its part.

The money made from selling the sites bought by City Hall to homebuilders will be recycled to buy further land for new and affordable homes.

The draft Housing Strategy also lays out how the Mayor’s office will address the housing crisis over the next few years. This includes: starting to build 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021; ensuring a better deal for private renters; increasing the building of more genuinely affordable homes; supporting new housing providers including community builders; and helping tackle homelessness.

The draft states the new £250m land fund will be used alongside the £3.15 billion affordable housing budget Mr Khan negotiated from Government. City Hall will work with a range of home builders including councils, housing associations and commercial home builders on housing developments.

Alongside the new focus on land, the Mayor wants to secure a better deal for London’s two million private renters. The document states Mr Khan will bring together tenants, landlords, and boroughs to develop a new ‘London Model’ focusing on increasing tenancy security to support a more stable, family-friendly sector, where the legitimate rights of landlords are protected too.

Once developed, the proposal will be submitted to Government for its consideration.

The Mayor said: “It is shameful that a generation of young people are being priced out of the city they grew up in because of the housing crisis. I inherited a development pipeline where just 13 per cent of homes given planning permission were affordable, which is unacceptable. I’ve been honest from the start that turning things round will take time and fixing the housing crisis will be a marathon not a sprint, but my strategy sets out how we can start making a real difference to affordable housing in the city.

“From £250 million to kick-start my plans to secure more land for new and affordable homes, to a new model and fairer deal for millions of private renters, I want to help all Londoners facing the housing crisis. I will use my powers and resources to their fullest extent, 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. This launch marks the start of a three-month consultation – I want as many Londoners as possible to let me know their views on how we can improve housing in London.“

Paul Hackett, chair of the g15 – a group of London’s largest housing associations – said: “The Mayor has played an important role in securing a significant funding settlement for affordable housing delivery. We are ready to deliver on the vision set out in this strategy, and help bring about a step change in the number of homes built in the capital.

“Collectively, the g15 housing associations will build 42,000 affordable homes in London by 2021 and we are the Mayor’s largest strategic partner. We particularly welcome the acknowledgement that City Hall has a crucial role to play in securing the land needed to build the homes, which is the single biggest challenge to increasing supply.”

Reacting and commenting on the Mayor’s Housing Strategy, Conservative London Assembly member, Andrew Boff, said: “We’ve waited over a year for this document but now it has finally arrived I’m sad to see it is another empty vessel.

“Despite bold promises on housing, the Mayor has again failed to set any targets outside of those imposed by central government. He has also failed to explain in any detail where he will obtain £250m to buy up new land and his pledges to maximise land use is at best vague idealism.”

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