Public land for affordable homes

Public land for affordable homes

With 367,000 now on housing waiting lists in the capital – the g15 group of housing associations have urged George Osborne to release public land to ensure affordable homes are built for the future.

The Beyond 2015 – putting a roof over London’s head report recognises that the capital does not have enough housing which is affordable to ordinary working Londoners.

  • The average home in London now costs £421,000.  Buying this home with a 75% mortgage requires a deposit of over £100,000 and a salary of £90,000 against an average salary of £27,000.
  • There are now 367,000 households on the waiting list for social housing in London and population growth is set to exceed 800,000 by 2033 – the equivalent of one London Borough every 4 years
  • The cost of private renting increased by 37% over the last five years and is forecast to rise by another 30% in London over the next five years.
  • Last year London’s housing supply increased by just 20,000 homes.

Keith Exford, Chair of the g15 and Chief Executive of national affordable housing provider Affinity Sutton, said: “London needs new homes; new homes require new investment; they need land with planning permission, and we need greater flexibility to put a roof over London’s head

“The g15 housing associations are working hard to deliver our existing development programmes and are ready to work with the Government, the Mayor and local authorities to build the new homes so desperately needed in London.

“Too much public land has sat idle and unused for far too long. A major push is needed to put this land into use and help provide affordable homes for ordinary working Londoners now and after 2015.”

The report proposes:

  • London needs Government investment in an affordable housing programme.  This investment could come from discounted land or direct investment which could, for example, be financed by ring fencing all stamp duty receipts in London for reinvestment in housing in the capital.
  • London needs a dedicated government bond guarantee programme to attract private institutional investment in new market rented homes available for everyone.
  • A major push is needed to put unused land into use, starting with a transfer of control to the Mayor for all central government owned land in the Capital.
  • The price paid for public land should be deferred and discounted to take account of the way it can be used to bring social value through new affordable housing.
  • Local authorities and housing associations should be given flexibility to set rents more closely with what people can reasonably afford to pay.

For more information please contact Laura Kenny, Media Relations Manager, Affinity Sutton on 020 7378 5555 or laura.kenny@affinitysutton.com.