London’s Housing Vision - is it fit for the future?31 October 2017
With the recent launch of the Mayor’s housing strategy, currently out for consultation, we are reminded of the housing crises we face in the Capital and that of other major cities across the UK.
The Mayor’s vision and priorities are to provide a range of options from building new homes and neighbourhoods to tackling the issue of growing homelessness. It is currently estimated that 1 in 50 people are homeless, if you include those in temporary accommodation, single people living in hostels and a staggering 8,000 people sleeping on the streets. One of the key tenets of the strategy is the importance and necessity of building more affordable homes for Londoners to rent and buy. The Mayor will further increase the levels of new affordable homes through investment, including his programme of £3.15 billion to support 90,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2021. It is also acknowledged that the private rented accommodation sector is growing, with more than 600,000 children in London currently living in properties of this nature. The strategy sets out the need for greater control to provide a fairer deal for private renters.
The Mayor’s strategy is not dissimilar to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement where he set out plans to build 300,000 new homes per year by the mid-2020s to address the housing crises across the UK. The Chancellor committed to £44billion of capital funding, loans and guarantees over the next five years to support the building of the new homes. He also abolished stamp duty up to £300,000 for first time buyers, which means that up to 80% of new buyers will escape the tax completely.
Over the past six years CPC has invested more time and effort into the housing sector. Initially, we provided project management services to developers building prime residential properties for private sale, but more recently we took a strategic decision to expand our offering across the housing market. Through acquisition and targeted recruitment, we now deliver projects in social and affordable housing, care and extra care, private rented sector and shared ownership.
I was pleasantly surprised to realise that we are responsible for delivering over 5,000 homes, which break down as follows:
- Private Sale – 1,037
- Private Rented Sector (PRS) - 927
- Social and Affordable – 1,085
- Care and Extra Care – 1,546
- Shared Ownership – 441
Two thirds of these homes are delivered in key Cities across the Midlands and the North of England, with the balance being delivered in Central and Greater London.
The publication of the Mayor’s Housing Strategy is subject to a three-month consultation with the final version due to be published in 2018. With our growing knowledge and expertise across the range of housing sectors, CPC is well positioned to support the Mayor in delivering his vision and key priorities in the years ahead.
It is only with joined up thinking, focus and a desire to build new homes that meet the needs and requirements of all Londoners that the current housing crisis will become a thing of the past.