Saturday, 25 April 2015

Vote on affordable rent model branded 'historic opportunity'

The London Assembly will vote this afternoon on whether to accept Boris Johnson’s affordable rent model.

Mr Johnson’s plans are to prevent London boroughs from setting caps in their local development plans on rent that can be charged for new affordable rented housing – instead setting the rent at the 80 per cent market rate across the city.

He rejected two of the three changes to affordable housing policy that were recommended by the planning Inspector.

Labour group planning spokesperson, Nicky Gavron, said the vote is ‘an historic opportunity for the Assembly to reject a mayoral strategy if a two-thirds majority can be secured’

 

He said: ‘Boris Johnson’s changes to the London Plan will push affordable housing out of the reach of the many Londoners on low, and in some areas, modest incomes

 ‘This will also drive up rent, increase land prices and further distort London’s housing market. Boris must take on the recommendations of the Independent Inspector, listen to local authorities and revise his London Plan.

‘Combined with the welfare reforms, the Mayor’s changes will make huge swathes of inner London even more unaffordable. Unless the Assembly can prevent this, it will ghettoise the city and put intolerable strain on a range of already overburdened local services in outer London.

‘It makes a mockery of localism in London: this is a situation where all boroughs of all political control are calling for the ability to set local affordable rent caps to reflect local circumstances and local need.’

Boris announced last month that he would refuse to delete paragraphs in his London Plan which exclude London boroughs from setting their own caps for affordable rent and stop councils from setting rent targets in their planning frameworks.

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

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