Mayoral candidate plans to offer half price homes
One of the candidates in the race to become London mayor has promised to create a secondary housing market in the capital with homes for sale or rent at half market rate.
Independent candidate Siobhan Benita set out her plans for housing in London in a manifesto yesterday.
She is promising to create a new department of the Greater London Authority called Homes for London, which would be responsible for implementing her policies. At the heart of these is her plan to create a fixed-price housing market built on GLA-owned land.
The land would be given to developers on a leasehold basis, but homes built on it would have to be sold into a regulated housing market controlled by Homes for London. These would be sold or let at around half market rate.
Qualifying residents who wish to buy properties would take part in a ballot, with the winners allowed to purchase a home. When they come to sell their home they would receive an agreed price based on a fixed annual increase, and the home would remain in the regulated market.
Ms Benita intends that at least 20,000 homes should be built for the regulated market each year, amounting to 80,000 by the end of the next mayoral term of office.
Social housing providers could get involved by buying homes for social rent, although any right to buy purchases would be within the regulated market rather than the wider commercial market.
Ms Benita is also promising to hold a social housing summit in July 2012, if she is elected, to bring together housing providers to address problems in the capital.
Her other commitments on housing include setting a target that 50 per cent of new homes should be affordable, bringing 40,000 empty homes back into use, and set up a ‘mayor’s lettings MOT’ to improve standards in the private rented sector.
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