Mayor’s £100 million housing cash boost is ‘small beer’

17:10 20 February 2013

Boris Johnson promised to increase investment in London housing. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Boris Johnson promised to increase investment in London housing. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Boris Johnson’s pledge to plough £100million into London’s housing market is not ambitious enough, according to his opposition.

A total of £78million will be shared among 27 construction firms in an attempt to build 3,000 new homes across the capital.

The Mayor’s Office said this will create 6,000 jobs and benefit around 10,000 Londoners during this mayoral term, with the first homes available in this term.

But Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the London Assembly’s Liberal Democrat group, said the announcement was welcome but “very small beer”.

She said: “The harsh facts are that across the capital 800,000 people are now on housing waiting lists and shamefully 400,000 children live in overcrowded homes.

“The Mayor needs to be far more ambitious and start using all the levers he has to build significantly more affordable homes across London, with a real priority being a substantial increase in family homes for social rent.“

The homes will offer flexible ownership options, including low-interest equity loans, ‘rent-to-save’ and ‘part-buy-part-rent.’ The destination of the rest of the money will be confirmed next month.

Mr Johnson said: “There has been a fantastic level of interest in this new fund, which will help an additional 10,000 people make their way onto the property ladder on top of those already being helped through other programmes.

“There is still much more that must be done to continue to boost house building in London, and I will continue to push for a fairer funding deal which puts us in an even stronger position to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

It comes after the Mayor called on the government to allow London to keep all stamp duty receipts raised on its property sales, estimated at around £1.3billion a year, to allow it to build up to one million homes.

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