Housing is now the government's number one priority. Not
only has the Chancellor allocated £7.2bn towards the
construction of new homes (more funds than for any other key
national infrastructure), there's a clear focus on getting
those homes where they're needed most, which should include
London and the South East.
The Chancellor's specific measures for London include
providing new powers of devolution to the Mayor and the GLA housing
settlement of £3.15bn, which means 90,000 new affordable
homes in construction by 2020-21.
The average proportion of affordable housing in major developments
started to increase after Sadiq Khan's election in May. The
first five developments through the full GLA planning process since
May has included an average of 37% affordable housing. This
compares to the average proportion of affordable housing in the
final projects inherited from the previous administration of around
Today's housing settlement should help secure more
affordable housing in London, particularly on land currently owned
by the public sector, which often has to overcome complex
constraints to development, such as building close to key transport
links. It will also help that the new National Productivity
Investment Fund will stump up £1.7bn by 2020-21 to speed up
housebuilding on public sector land through partnerships with
private sector developers.
The Chancellor confirmed today a step change of ambition to
deliver a housing market for "sale and rent". There
continues to be positive recognition for the Build to Rent sector,
and its role in increasing the supply of professionally managed
homes for younger generations in London, who might otherwise need
to be accommodated in affordable housing.
The Housing White Paper to be published "in due
course" will propose more positive changes to deliver homes
and speed up the planning system. This will provide an opportunity
to address other thorny issues not covered by the Chancellor today,
such as the future of starter homes and the need for Build to Rent
investors to pay 3% stamp duty on second homes.
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