London mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed plans to intervene heavily in the land market by putting in place a team of ‘deal makers’ to deploy a £250m fund to buy and prepare sites for new and affordable homes, as he launched his draft housing strategy for London.
The deal makers, who will form part of his Homes for Londoners team, will be empowered to use City Hall’s statutory powers to their fullest extent, including Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs), where necessary, to secure land for housing.
Speaking to Property Week, Khan said he would use CPOs, if needed, to buy land neighbouring a site earmarked for development if it increased the opportunity to build more affordable homes. Khan is lobbying the government to speed up the process of making a CPO.
The money made from selling the land to house builders will be recycled to buy further land, unlocking opportunities across the capital for affordable housing development.
The mayor’s draft housing strategy is his plan to address the housing crisis over the next few years. This includes:
The plan calls for government to devolve new funding powers and greater resources to the mayor’s office to assemble land.
The new land fund will be used alongside the £3.15bn affordable housing budget that Khan negotiated from government. He plans to work with a range of home builders including councils, housing associations and commercial home builders on housing developments.
Alongside the focus on land, the mayor also wants a better deal for the increasing numbers of Londoners who live in the private rented sector, with the aim of creating a modern, fit-for-purpose and high quality housing option for the millions of Londoners who rent.
Khan said: “From £250m to kick-start my plans to secure more land for new and affordable homes, to a new model and fairer deal for millions of private renters, I want to help all Londoners facing the housing crisis. I will use my powers and resources to their fullest extent, but government needs to play its part too by giving London the powers and resources we need to see an even greater step-change in the number of homes being built.”
The launch marks the start of a three-month consultation.
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