Saturday, 18 April 2015

Boris to press ahead with affordable housing changes despite defeat

Boris Johnson’s affordable rent model squeezed through the London Assembly, despite defeat in a key vote yesterday.

Twelve assembly members rejected the Mayor’s plans to prevent London boroughs setting caps in their local development plans, while nine voted in favour of the scheme.

The 12 votes fell short of the two-thirds majority required to reject the Mr Johnson’s strategy.

In heated exchanges, Labour leader Len Duvall called on members to vote ‘not to defeat the Mayor, but to do the right things by your communities.’

Deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister repeatedly stressed that the affordable rent strategy would create an average of 65 per cent of market rates, meaning very few properties would be set at the full 80 per cent.

Nine councils, including Tory stronghold Westminster, opposed the Mayor’s plan saying it would make it difficult to deliver genuinely affordable housing in their borough.

Mr Johnson announced last month that he would refuse to re-instate paragraphs into his London Plan which would allow London boroughs to set their own caps for affordable rent and stop councils from setting rent targets in their planning frameworks, despite recommendations from the planning inspector.

As previously reported in Inside Housing, a coalition of borough councils are considering legal action against Mr Johnson’s plans.

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