Housebuilders makes eleventh-hour attempt to persuade GLA housing taskforce to listen to its views on 50% social housing rules in London.
Housebuilders are to meet with the Greater London Assembly's Housing Commission in a last-ditch attempt to put their views across before it reports to London mayor Ken Livingstone on housing need in the capital.

Up to 15 leading housebuilders, together with the House Builders' Federation, are to meet Chris Holmes, the chair of the Housing Commission, on 25 October. The meeting comes one week before the report is to be made. Other commission members are expected to attend.

The crisis meeting, which is the first time the HBF and the Housing Commission have met, is understood to be partly in response to Livingstone's declaration that new housing developments in London should contain at least 50% social housing.

Many housebuilders have responded that this requirement will drive them out of the London market.

Livingstone confirmed the 50% figure at a meeting of London housing associations last week, although he added that he had not met developers to discuss it.

An HBF spokesperson said it would use the meeting to show that housebuilders have a crucial part to play in decisions made on London's housing needs.

He said: "Social housing provision will obviously be a major topic. By talking about the issues involved, explaining the difficulties and listening to suggestions, we aim to ensure that all parties work together in the most effective way." Livingstone set up the Housing Commission shortly after he came to power. It is expected to come up with ways of preventing key workers, such as those providing public services, being priced out of the London housing market.

The commission only includes one housebuilder – Charmaine Young, St George's director of regeneration. Other members include officials from local authorities, housing associations, the emergency services and members of the GLA's housing policy and research teams.

Black and Ethnic Minority Strategies, a guide to stamping out racism in local authority housing, was launched yesterday after a survey found racism on housing estates was not being effectively tackled by local authorities and housing associations.