From May 2012, the Mayor of London will be responsible for the capital’s entire house-building budget – over a third of the national pot of money – and significant public land to build on.
Currently, the mayor can only build new homes by working with the Homes and Communities Agency, the London Development Agency, boroughs and developers to bring together the funding, the land and the planning permission needed to create the homes that Londoners require.
Every Londoner knows that the high cost of buying or renting a home in the capital has a huge impact on the way they live their lives – from young people desperately trying to save for a deposit, to families struggling to keep up with their mortgage or spending up to half of their income on rent. Many believe they have no other option but to give up on London – a recent poll by Shelter indicates that up to 1.8 million Londoners expect to be driven out of the city by the rising cost of housing. That’s almost a third of the capital’s population.
From May, the mayor could release the money to build and the land to build on, bringing Londoners more homes that they can afford – either to rent or to buy. Shelter believes that renting a two-bedroom home in London is unaffordable for families earning less than £52,000.