Chancellor sets out plans for over 400,000 London homes

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has set out plans to help London meet its need for over 400,000 homes on a visit to Aura development by Weston Homes in Edgware, with the Mayor of London.

A package of housing investments announced today for London included the establishment of a London Land Commission, based at the Greater London Authority, which will be tasked with identifying public sector brownfield land that is no longer needed in London, to help ensure that all of the capital’s brownfield sites are developed by 2025, and help meet its target of over 400,000 new homes by 2025.

The Land Commission’s work will pave the way for hundreds of thousands of new homes in the capital on brownfield and public sector land.

The Chancellor and the Mayor also confirmed the creation of nine new Housing Zones on brownfield land, following a speech the duo set out a long term economic plan for the capital. The speech recognised London’s housing challenges and the Chancellor announced ambitious plans including:
•establishing a London Land Commission to identify public sector land for development, helping London to ensure development on of all of its London’s brownfield land by 2025- so that London can meet its target of at least 400,000 new homes, primarily through brownfield land
•designating nine Housing Zones in Greenwich, Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Wandsworth, Harrow, Hounslow, Lewisham, Ealing and Haringey; who will have access to funding set aside to deliver affordable housing. Housing zones are a new approach being used by the government, to get new homes built quickly. This investment will support and accelerate the construction of up to 30,000 new homes, of which around a third will be Affordable Homes
•launching an £84m Social Mobility Fund to help council tenants who are eligible for Right to Buy, buy their own home on the open market. This will invite local authorities across the country to bid for funding to offer cash sums to council tenants who want to do this. The fund will be targeted at those tenants wanting to more suitable accommodation or to move for work
•confirming that the Mayor will provide £5m for a permanent purpose-designed home for the government-backed No Second Night Out to expand its operation and provide a secure foundation for pan-London rough sleeping services for years to come

In his speech Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

“This month London has surpassed the peak population reached over 70 years ago.

“For many years in between it declined in size as people left the city to look for better housing.

“It’s a reminder that there’s nothing inevitable about London growing – and that if we want to see the current growth continue, we have to solve London’s acute housing problem.

“We both say it’s the number one challenge facing the city…….

“We announce today the designation of nine new housing zones from Greenwich and Barking, to Harrow and Hounslow.

“And I can tell you this morning we’re going to create, the government and the Greater London Assembly (GLA), a London Land Commission that will identify all the public sector brownfield land in London, helping us to develop all the suitable sites available.

“That will help London deliver its target to deliver over 400,000 new homes by 2020 – providing a lasting solution to the housing problem of the capital.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“We face massive demographic pressures in our city and it is absolutely vital that we build the high quality stock of housing we need to cope. We will not solve the problem without massively expanding the supply of housing and the plans confirmed today will help do that, which is fantastic for our city.”

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“Our long term economic plan has got the Capital building again, with 140,000 new homes delivered in London since the end of 2009. But there is more to do.

“Today’s measures for London help regenerate brownfield land in London, providing more homes, whilst continuing to protect the Green Belt around our Capital.”

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