The London Housing Taskforce has set out 29 proposals to safeguard the delivery of thousands of homes.
A taskforce of leading housing associations, housebuilders and councils has requested an additional £2.2bn in grant funding from the Government to ensure that they are able to deliver thousands of affordable homes needed in the capital.
The London Housing Delivery Taskforce has written to Michael Gove requesting £2.2bn in funding to ensure 5,000 additional homes can be delivered.
In a letter to Michael Gove, the taskforce warns of a major decline in housebuilding across the country. Its members include the G15 and G320 groups of housing associations, the National Housing Federation, London Councils, housebuilders including Hill Group and Mount Anvil and the Mayor of London.
The taskforce calls for the governent to immediately inject an additional £2.2bn in funding grant into London’s Affordable Homes Programme (AHP) and for Public Works Loan Board borrowing rules to be reformed, to allow local authorities to borrow at, “an ideally reduced, fixed-rate”.
The letter states that this would enable 5,000 additional council homes to be built in the capital over the next five years, and 800 of these new council homes could be funded with the drop in borrowing costs alone.
An industry-endorsed joint position statement outlines 29 recommendations to tackle key issues currently facing housebuilders.
The recommendations include allowing housing providers to combine Right to Buy receipts with AHP grants to bridge funding gaps, a new grant programme to properly fund refurbishment of existing housing stock.
They also call for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) debt settlement to be reopened, to enable local authorities to borrow cheaply for housing delivery and for the technical details on second staircases to be issued as a matter of urgency.
In August this year, Khan wrote to Michael Gove calling for an additional £2.2bn in affordable housing investment to prevent housebuilding from grinding to a halt.
The London Housing Delivery Taskforce was first convened by Khan during the pandemic to discuss solutions to the housing crisis in London.
The taskforce met again in December 2022 following the mini-budget. It reconvened again between August and September this year.
Fiona Fletcher-Smith, chair of the G15, a group of London’s leading housing associations, said: “Housing associations are facing very tough decisions in the face of high interest rates, cost inflation and wider uncertainty. We are prioritising investment in existing homes and services, but have had to slow down the development of much-needed new homes.
She added: “We have to get the sector building again in order to meet the scale of today’s housing crisis, but without long-term thinking, certainty and political commitment that is just not possible”.
A Fair Deal for Housing campaign
Housing Today believes the government should not back away from its manifesto pledge of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the decade. We badly need more homes and a lack of supply is a major factor in creating problems of affordability for both buyers and renters.
Over the next few months, Housing Today will be exploring potential solutions to help us ramp up housebuilding to 300,000. These are likely to include different ways of working, funding asks of government and policy ideas that could boost housebuilding.
We want to hear from you: what do you think can make a difference at a policy level?
What can the industry do better?
We believe that, with the right commitments from ministers and the industry, it is possible to build more homes and help the government to meet its objectives to “build beautiful”, improve quality and safety, boost home ownership and level up the UK.
To contribute ideas to our A Fair Deal for Housing Ideas Zone database, click here.
A Fair Deal for Housing is part of the Building the Future Commission