Johnson: benefit cuts will hit construction
Boris Johnson has called for housing benefit plans to be modified for London so affordable homes can be built.
Speaking at the Thames Gateway Forum in Canary Wharf today, the mayor suggested there was a conflict between the government’s plans to increase social rents, and its moves to cut housing benefit.
‘The new house building model is based on an affordable rent concept that registered social landlords can go up to 80 per cent of the market rent in order to fund investment in new housing, and if you talk to RSLs some of them are excited by that, they see it as a potential way forward,’ he said.
‘The difficulty is you have simultaneously got to push down on the housing benefit and that would clearly make it more difficult.’
Mr Johnson suggested the government should review plans to cap benefit payments to take into account rents in the capital.
‘We need the government to understand the circumstances of housing benefit in London, especially costs in London, we need that to be reflected in the ceilings imposed for benefit,’ he said. ‘We need to settle this very quickly, because we need to move on and get development underway.’