Housing Strategy for London

Ken has published his first statutory housing strategy setting out what he’d like to achieve over the next few years.  At this stage its in draft form, so you (and I) can send in our comments on what is in it and how it should change.

Given that the Mayor now has direct responsibility for London’s affordable housing budget worth over £1 billion a year the strategy is as ambitious as you’d expect.

In an email that was sent to members of the Labour Party in London Ken says:

As well as reinforcing the London Plan target that fifty per cent of all new homes in the capital should be affordable, the strategy introduces measures to increase the supply of affordable family-sized homes. It will quadruple the number of new larger homes for low cost home ownership – providing many more opportunities for families on modest incomes who want to get on the property ladder.

The strategy will ensure that public funding is only given to new homes meeting high standards of environmental performance and will expect new larger developments to deliver additional environmental benefits, such as combined cooling, heat and power.

He goes on to point out that his period in office has seen the numbers of new homes rise from 17,000 a year in 2000 to 28,000 last year (which exceeded the target that Ken had set in 2004, something that many saw as ambitious).

The draft strategy says about the coming period:

This strategy and Strategic Housing Investment Plan will increase the output of new affordable housing by 50 per cent, resulting in more than 50,000 new affordable homes being delivered between 2008 – 2011…

The strategy will enable more family homes to be built, especially in the affordable sector where the need is greatest and where new supply has been limited in recent years. It sets a new target that 42 per cent of new social rented homes and, by 2010/11, 16 per cent of new intermediate homes, should have three bedrooms or more…

Thirty eight per cent of London’s carbon emissions come from homes and the Mayor wants to see emissions from housing decrease by 30 per cent by 2025. This is a major challenge, and one that can only be achieved by both maximising the environmental performance of new homes and improving that of the existing stock.

It also talks about tackling homelessness and overcrouding and sets out the structures that Ken expects to deliver the strategy.

He also makes it clear he expects every part of the capital to contribute.  We’ve seen before that housing is political, and locally that here in Lewisham there’s a commitment to meeting the targets.

Should you have comments on the strategy it looks like you’ve got three months to make them.


About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Civic Society, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Housing Strategy for London

  1. Sue Luxton says:

    Lewisham’s stated target for affordable housing in both the existing UDP and the forthcoming LDF is only 35%, compared to the Mayor of London’s 50% target. Not good enough, in my opinion and Greens will continue to push for the target to be raised to 50%. I believe the Mayor of London may also challenge Lewisham’s target. There is also a possibility that there will be just 20% affordable housing in the Gateway development.

  2. kate says:

    With regards to the 20% affordable housing , most of it is still not affordable. Lewisham council class the average wage at 25 grand, I do not know any one that earns anywhere near that much. You also have to be earning between 25 and 30 to be eligable for a part buy scheme.

  3. richard proctor says:

    ah yes

    and you know whats coming

    the Lewisham Gateway *may not even reach 20% affordable housing*

    and an excuse will be found to breach this rule here – something about ‘regeneration’ no doubt.

    Now, if someone could explain to me exactly what the regeneration benefits of the Lewisham Gateway are?

    I’ll tell you if you like – there aren’t any…

    I know, personally, someone who’s developing a site in Barking. He said to me when we were discussing affordable housing “everything’s negotiable, everything”.

    A glib talking developer and a pliant, ill-imformed council, thats the meaning of regeneration – ignorance and an incapacity to think creatively. You can see it quite clearly on your doorstep – the sundermead estate and cornmill gardens – a dreadful, shameful mistake and another opportunity grossly wasted.

  4. Lone Ranger says:

    Part of a letter in today’s South London Press….

    “There are attempts to build two and six-storey blcks of flats in Bromley Road on the space of a postage stamp…….When I was on the housing list there were 500 people (1970) – now there are 19,000 (2007).”

    I can’t vouch for the figures but at least 17,000 were on the waiting list 12-18months ago.

    On Wednesday although not shown on the agenda
    the Mayor discussed and decided in secret the following `Aragon Tower – reallocation of capital receipt’.

    If anyone knows what this was about and why a discussion about public money needed to be held in secret I’d be interested to know.

    It’s not as though the previous figures aren’t in the public domain, courtesy of Kate…


  5. kate says:

    I know now that the information about the fund s from the sale of aragon tower were incorrect and if anyone could find where the proceeds actually went thay are a better person than me!

  6. The problem is that, with house prices where they are, the gateway of affordability creeps up as the house prices do.

    Don’t worry, the current housing market is unsustainable. There’s a big, exciting crash on its way.

  7. Lone Ranger says:

    In Dispatches CH4 last Monday it showed the allowances MPs recieve for housing and I wondered where it fits in with any housing strategy.

    The programme detailed 2 MP’s married to each other who have a joint income of at least £230,000 a year. They have chosen to live in a property valued at £675,000 and declared it as their second home, thus making them eligible for an allowance of up to £23,000 a year.

    The program showed benefits of £53,000 had already been paid on top of any political salary.

    Why should any government feel a couple on £230,000 a year should qualify to be on housing related benefits is beyond me.

    Why a couple on such high income feel it right to claim these benefits while deciding people on far lower incomes should be means tested is disgusting.

    Oh, one of the couple just happens to be the current Housing Minister, Yvette Cooper.

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