Livingstone considers raising number of new homes in capital from 30,500 to 50,000

Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London, is investigating whether housebuilding levels in the capital can be boosted.

The mayor’s draft housing strategy, released this week, says his officers are assessing the capital’s development capacity to see if the target of 30,500 homes a year can be raised.

At the launch, Livingstone said recently increased levels of housebuilding had to be maintained. He said: “Two or three years barely scratches the surface of the problem – we need a decade.”

This is the first housing strategy prepared by Livingstone, who is on the verge of taking control of the Housing Corporation’s development budget under legislation now going through parliament.

The strategy is aimed at building 50,000 affordable homes over the next three years, of which about a third would be for shared ownership. It also proposes to create a “Decent Environment Standard” for energy efficiency, which would replace the Decent Homes Standard from 2010. The capital’s social housing would have to comply with this by 2016.

The Greater London Authority would prioritise funding for schemes that go beyond the minimum standard in the Code for Sustainable Homes, targeting those that are “as close to zero-carbon as possible”.

It also proposes:

  • Creating a compulsory purchase “hit squad” to help with site assembly
  • Increasing the proportion of affordable homes with three bedrooms or more
  • Encouraging new forms of investment to provide more homes
  • Prioritising shared ownership housing for council tenants
  • Extending the scheme that allows older tenants to move out of London to free up under-occupied family properties