How we could help more Londoners find the homes they need

How we could help more Londoners find the homes they need

There is widespread agreement that the housing crisis is now the number one priority for politicians, business and the public in London. However, on a daily basis, many Londoners are still struggling to access and pay for housing.

While we are working with the Government, the Mayor and local authorities to build as many homes as possible, we all know more needs to be done. That is why radical action is required and today we are presenting a set of ideas to ensure more homes are built.

Our new report was written by the chief executives of the housing associations which belong to g15. Together we built around 8,000 new homes last year and know we could double our output with the right government support and funding. The ideas we presented include:

  • A new long-term housing plan – where the finance and land for house building is planned on a 10-20 year basis, rather than the current political cycle.
  • A national competition, run by the Government, to increase in house building – where entrants are given a fixed timescale to find partners and develop a vision for developing plots of land across the UK. The prize would be a Government Bond Guarantee to significantly reduce the cost of financing the developments.
  • A review of green belt around the Capital and a frank debate about its purpose and quality – this could lead to the release of land for new communities and housing, replaced with new land elsewhere. The sensitive rural environment and habitats would be protected, but the poor quality green belt released.
  • Local councils encouraged to support new homes by taking in equity stake in developments they approve – allowing the taxpayer to benefit from the proceeds of growth and re-invest into more housing.
  • Expansion of the new towns initiative – using new Urban Development Corporations taking responsibility for land ownership and planning. This would speed up planning communities, building on the success of the Docklands.
  • A national policy on rents in affordable housing and a review of what is affordable for different Londoners – rather than rents ranging from 20% to 80% of market rates.

To read or download the report, please click here.

Brendan Sarsfield
Chair of the g15 and Chief Executive of Family Mosaic