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Mayor of London, London Housing Strategy Draft for Public Consultation September 2017

Mayor of London, London Housing Strategy Draft for Public Consultation September 2017

Margaret Baddeley 06 Sep 2017
The Mayor’s plans for addressing the housing crisis
The Mayor of London has today published his 200 page-plus London Housing Strategy Draft for Consultation, with an executive summary and easy-to-read version alongside. 
 
Comments have to be submitted by 7 December 2017.
 
The finalised Housing Strategy will be published in 2018 and will form the basis for housing policy in the new draft London Plan that is due in November this year. Very many of the proposals in the draft Strategy will be elaborated on in that Plan.
 
The table below highlights the most important elements of the draft Strategy and their implications for the development sector. At the heart of the draft Strategy - in the Mayor’s own words – is a fundamental recognition of the capital’s housing problem and a less-than-radical but still meaningful response:
 
‘The biggest shortfall by far between what we are building now and what we need is amongst homes that are genuinely affordable to Londoners.
 
That is why my new housing strategy sets out an approach that will start to rebalance housing supply in London.’
 
There have already been moves in this direction, via the Mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21, the Housing Infrastructure Fund and the recently published Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (see this Lichfields’ blog for the implications of the SPG and our article discussing the Mayor’s shift in stance on land valuation).
 
Some but not all of the main themes of the new draft Strategy still closely resemble those of the previous Mayor, who in the last (2014) version likewise had a vision for the devolution of central Government powers and greater resources, with both the Greater London Authority and the London Boroughs (LBs) having much greater roles in house building. There is however a very clear rebalancing; the draft Strategy is not as prescriptive on affordable housing tenure and also, responds in particular to the wider social housing issues raised by the Grenfell Tower fire (including more transparency around off-site s106 affordable housing contributions).
See here for the Mayor of London’s announcement, referring to the launch today of the Mayor’s 200 page-plus London Housing Strategy Draft for Consultation, together with an executive summary and easy-to-read version published alongside. The impact assessment for the draft Strategy is also due out today for consultation and once published, it may include a gem or two of information: we will provide a link and commentary in due course.