Boris backs housing

Boris backs housing

The g15, which represents London’s 15 largest housing associations, has welcomed the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s keynote speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing in which he called for the capital to retain its stamp duty receipts – worth £1.3bn – to enable City Hall to borrow on the capital markets to fund housing, regeneration and infrastructure.

Keith Exford, chair of the g15 and chief executive of national affordable housing provider Affinity Sutton, said: “We are pleased that our proposals for ring fencing stamp duty, easing local authority borrowing constraints and taking control of public land have been taken up and developed further by the Mayor.

“This would give the Mayor and the GLA greater certainty and a long term income stream to invest, similar to that enjoyed by TFL – finally showing Londoners that affordable housing is just as much of a political priority as transport.

“We also fully support the Mayor’s call for control of all surplus Government land in the city to maximise development opportunities. If the price paid for this land can be deferred and discounted we can double our delivery of desperately needed affordable homes for ordinary working Londoners.

“Housing associations need higher levels of capital subsidy to support a truly affordable home building programme. With just a little flexibility – over rent levels and how we manage our existing assets, we can keep rents and benefit costs down to deliver the best value to Londoners and the taxpayer.

“We would urge the Treasury to support the Mayor’s proposals. London needs a mix of good quality affordable homes to deliver the workforce and skills that the city’s employers need.  Investing in affordable housing creates jobs and will deliver considerable savings for government.”