Boris Johnson's plan to 'turbo boost' housebuilding

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Boris Johnson has today pledged to undertake a strategic role on surplus public land to "turbo boost" housing development in London.

The pledge comes as the London mayor publishes his updated housing strategy. Measures include:

  • Promoting ‘lifetime neighbourhoods’ in town centre developments for older people who need easier access to facilities to enhance independent living. 
  • Support for leaseholders facing rising service charges and lobbying for greater statutory protection. 
  • Plans to create more than 1,000 new high quality homes for long term private rent and improve standards for tenants. 
  • New ‘graduate’ private rent housing schemes for young people.

The mayor's revised strategy sets out a long-term ambition to increase supply to at least 42,000 new homes per annum, around double what has been achieved over the last 20 years.

Of these, at least 17,000 should be 'affordable' with 5,000 for purpose-built long-term market rent.

Johnson said: “My housing strategy sets out measures to tackle the colossal pressure on London’s property market and address the chronic 30-year failure to build enough homes in our city.

"The good news is we have capacity for 42,000 more homes a year in inner London alone, plus a multitude of prime opportunity areas and programmes to trigger development. For me there is no single more important issue now than boosting supply, increasing investment in affordable housing and helping hard working Londoners find homes.

"I can’t do this alone, and will be working closely with government, developers and boroughs to increase supply, stimulate building and tackle demand.”

The 'Homes for London' strategy includes recommendations to protect leaseholders; driving supply through private rent to accelerate building and raise standards; and creating up to 10 housing Zones.

Deputy Mayor for Housing and Land Richard Blakeway said: “This strategy offers a range of measures that can provide the structural changes needed in our housing market to increase supply, attract new players and forms of investment and increase the choice of housing products.

"We need a wider range of affordable housing and market sale homes, supported by strong new measures like our proposed London Housing Bank and Housing Zones to truly get to grips with the enormous demand for housing of every tenure in London.”