London Housing Commission publishes grave report
16 March 2016, Blog
This week has seen the London Housing Commission publish its much anticipated report, Building a New Deal for London.
The report notes that a mere 25,000 new homes were built in the capital last year. The commission estimates that double this number will need to be created per annum if supply is to keep up with demand. Indeed, the report compounds fears that the housing crisis is having a direct impact on economic growth in the city, with employers struggling to both recruit and retain staff.
The Housing Commission goes as far as to suggest that London should not be subject to the National Planning Policy Framework. Instead, it is advised that greater planning power is devolved to the GLA and the individual London Boroughs in order to remove the bureaucratic shackles that are currently limiting the rate of construction.
The commission also takes aim at existing affordable housing policy. It is alleged that current affordable housing targets are unnecessarily complex and that a simplified system with benchmark levels of intermediate and social rent units would remove investor uncertainty on the part of developers. Indeed, the provision of genuinely affordable housing in London looks set to continue as the key topic of debate in the run up to the mayoral election on 5 May.