In response to your article on the Greater London Authority’s housing targets ("London council in crisis talks over affordable homes target,"), the GLA’s approach is based on realism and focuses on working closely with local councils
That is why the mayor’s announcement of locally agreed affordable housing targets is so significant. Three-quarters of these affordable homes have already been identified in London – this amounts to an extra 37,000 affordable homes and is 10,000 more than the government was able to negotiate last year in a far better economic climate. Negotiations have already concluded with almost half the boroughs and we already have a target for almost every borough. These locally agreed targets provide some certainty in an uncertain market.
The second test of deliverability is the mayor’s programme to jump-start the housing market. Together with the London Homes and Communities Agency, chaired by the mayor, a detailed market rescue plan is being financed – based on flexibility over grant, providing gap funding, taking equity stakes in struggling developments and de-risking public sector land to encourage housing starts. Over £3bn can be invested through the National Affordable Housing Programme to make this a reality.
We firmly believe that the boroughs must take a lead on local decisions over the type of housing that is delivered in their area. The targets are part of a major drive towards empowering local communities to deliver locally agreed objectives.
Three-quarters of these affordable homes have already been identified in London – this amounts to an extra 37,000 homes
In short, the best way of delivering the affordable housing that is so vital for the future of our city is for the boroughs, the Homes and Communities Agency and the GLA to work in tandem, not in opposition.
Richard Blakeway, director of housing, Greater London Authority