On new homes

On new homes

L&Q Chief Executive David Montague writes in today’s Evening Standard:

Yesterday I heard a strange thing – a cheer from London housing providers, from London Councils, from London First, from London. Why? Because Boris backs housing. Doubters say that George won’t buy it but investment in housing will put a roof over people’s heads and a wage in their pockets today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

New homes need new investment. The Government bond guarantee programme is a big step forward but affordable housing needs subsidy through an ongoing programme of capital grant. Stamp duty receipts would do the job very nicely.

New homes need land with planning. All the money in the world won’t lay a single brick unless we have somewhere to put them. If Boris can guarantee planning for central government owned land in London and George can guarantee capital funding, we will guarantee new homes.

And we could guarantee a lot more with a little more flexibility – allowing local authorities to borrow for housing investment and aligning local authority and housing association rents more closely with what people can afford to pay.

If these three easy steps were taken we would see London swing into action. Boris backs housing. George – back Boris!