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Home Truths – recommendations for solving London’s housing crisis

In the fortnight that saw Boris Johnson congratulate planners and developers for building new homes to house the Olympic baby boomers, London First has told the Mayor that, although revised, his house building target of 42,000 homes still falls short of what is needed to house the city’s growing population.

In our response to December’s Draft Housing Strategy, submitted this week, we have told the Mayor that while we welcome many of the proposals in the strategy, we remain unconvinced that it will lead to a step-change increase in house building.

New ideas such as Housing Zones and a London Housing Bank are interesting and should be developed further, but for Housing Zones to really stimulate more development, property taxes will need to be devolved to London Government. In the meantime, other options, such as trying to provide speed and certainty in the planning process, should be pursued.

And, while we welcome the changes to support the development of build-to-let properties, the Mayor’s proposed alterations to the London Plan covering the private rented sector must be implemented to ensure that boroughs pro-actively use the model to increase housing delivery in their area.

We’ll be looking closely at these, and many more, proposed solutions to the housing crisis in our ‘Home Truths’ report, due to be published on 4 March.

To read the report first, make sure you book your place at its evening launch on the same day.

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