London Mayor sets out vision to build 42,000 homes a year for 20 years

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December 3, 2013 2:52 AM EST

London needs to see a level of house building unseen in the city since the 1930s to meet the needs of its expanding population but thought needs to be put into where, according to the mayor Boris Johnson.

In a new document outlining his vision of house building in the city he says there are some fantastic places to build these new homes all across London, from Battersea to the Royal Docks and from Greenwich to Croydon.

‘But we have to ensure that these are inspiring new homes in attractive neighbourhoods and vibrant town centres, and that they are well connected to jobs not just serried ranks of stultifying rabbit hutches,’ he said.

‘London’s history shows us time and again that you can only build new homes and create new jobs if you can link these with a world class transport network. So we need to make the best of the massive neo-Victorian investment going into London’s transport system to underpin the delivery of new homes,’ he explained.

He said that his new strategy aims to put in place the resources to deliver more than 42,000 homes a year every year for 20 years. ‘To achieve that we have to recognise this isn’t the job of the boroughs, of government, of the Mayor, of the private sector, of the public sector. It’s the job of all of us. Only by working together can we agree a long term financial settlement with national government, free up local councils to build, promote institutional investment in new housing, bring forward surplus public land and develop Housing Zones across the capital to drive delivery,’ he explained.

‘My aim is to make sure that the homes we build better reward those who work hard to make this city a success by massively increasing opportunities for home ownership, by improving the private rented sector and by ensuring working Londoners have priority for low cost affordable homes to rent,’ he pointed out.

‘I have often said that my goal is to lengthen London's lead as the greatest city on earth. And I am ever more convinced that to achieve that, we have to ensure we do indeed build the homes that we need. Following thirty years of building only half the homes now needed, London is faced with a massive shortage of good quality homes that are affordable to those who wish to live and work in the capital,’ he added.

Johnson also pointed out that the shortage of housing invariably pushes up prices and rent levels, with punishing impacts on access and affordability.

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