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Sadiq Khan to improve housing crisis, by buying land for £250million

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Sadiq Khan has unveiled his draft Housing Strategy, in a bid to make the long-running housing crisis that little bit better, which has seen a mismatch between a high level of need, and a particularly worrying level of housebuilding. 

Statistics surrounding the housing market in London has illustrated how the number of new homes being built every year in London has been stuck at 20,000 for some time. The strategy which was published on 6 September 2017 asserts that London is in need of enough land to build more than 50,000 new homes every year over the next 25 years. The strategy details that such a programme to expand housing in the capital requires a new structure and dynamic approach to ensure targets are met. 

To make matters worse, the number and output of smaller housebuilders has dwindled since the financial crisis of 2008. According to statistics derived from the National House Building Council, there were 5,476 builders in Great Britain, building anything from one to 100 homes every year. Now the figure sits at just 1,920. And unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down as the barriers facing these smaller-scale builders continues, with issues such as raising finance and most importantly, obtaining planning permission a key problem.

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Photo credit: Shoolandia/Shuttterstock 

Khan’s housing strategy is hoping to rectify these problems, as well as linking small builders with anyone disposing of smaller plots of public land. Not only are members of the Federation of Master Builders applauding the news, Londoners are embracing these new micro developments, which will deliver affordable housing on a smaller scale. The draft is also urging councils to work with housing associations and small builders to oversee new housing projects. 

And in a bid to prepare land for new and affordable homes, Sadiq Khan has earmarked an initial £250 million to buy new land. The money made from selling the land to housebuilders is going to be recycled to buy further land, and thus develop much-needed housing outlined. Khan plans to bring together the capital’s private tenants and landlords to develop a new model of renting. The £250 million will be used alongside the £3.15 billion affordable housing cash the government allocated to London in the Autumn Statement last year. 

house-builders

Photo credit: Halfpoint/Shutterstock 

In a statement by Sadiq Khan he comments: 

“From £250 million to kick-start my plans to secure more land for new and affordable homes, to a new model and fairer deal for millions of private renters, I want to help all Londoners facing the housing crisis. I will use my powers and resources to their fullest extent, but the government needs to play its part too by giving London the powers and resources we need to see an even greater step change in the number of homes being built. This launch marks the start of a three-month consultation – I want as many Londoners as possible to let me know their views on how we can improve housing in London.”

In the draft, Housing Strategy, there are three other significant measures which Khan is dedicated to see through:

  • Increasing funding for self-builds, purpose-built private rented development and community-led projects which will diversify the housing sector
  • Improve the skills, building methods and capacity of the construction industry 
  • Changing the way the Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy is levied, to ensure small and medium sized builders can pay less up front 

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