Changes to London Housing Strategy revealed
The Mayor of London has cut the number of core aims in his housing strategy from five to two and is pledging to promote the use of powers to criminalise squatting to free up empty homes.
Boris Johnson revealed his plans for housing in the capital on Tuesday with the proposed housing strategy for London consultation paper.
A draft of initial proposals for the housing strategy was released in August this year which said the mayor had a vision with five core aims.
The aims were: Building partnerships with boroughs, increasing supply, raising standards, enhancing mobility and choice and tackling need.
In the revised strategy, the mayor says there are two core aims for tackling housing which are empowering people and transforming places.
Other changes in the strategy include a pledge by the mayor to work with foreign embassies to improve assistance for foreign nationals sleeping rough – as revealed in Inside Housing.
The mayor is also promising to deliver 1,800 supported homes between 2011 and 2015 for elderly and vulnerable tenants while also supporting boroughs to properly address the needs of Gypsies and Travellers.
The strategy also calls for housing providers to make full use of apprenticeships in the delivery of affordable homes and to engage with the mayor’s London apprenticeship campaign.
Other changes include the mayor working with boroughs and development partners to drive delivery on major schemes such as Greenwich Peninsula and Barking Riverside.
The mayor is also proposing to help public land holders with the development of sites by offering a procurement process through the London Development Panel.
Mr Johnson said: ‘Boosting house building is critical for the economy and for the thousands of Londoners who are yearning to get on to the property ladder. This strategy offers us a golden opportunity to push on full steam ahead to deliver more affordable homes and create over a hundred thousand much-needed jobs in the process.
‘With £3 billion secured from the government, new powers and affordable homes delivery at record levels, we have solid foundations on which to build and cement London’s housing future.’
The mayor has also made changes to his policies for First Steps – the scheme supporting low and modest income Londoners to own their own home.
Under the new proposals, eligibility for the scheme will be assessed in terms of income and not employment, while people in social housing will join ex-members of the armed forces in the top priority bracket.
The strategy says that the government’s new right to buy scheme should mean that the number of bedrooms – not just homes – should be replaced with each property sold.