London council leaders seek housing freedoms

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and 21 London boroughs are urging the government to give the capital the powers and investment it needs to build more affordable homes.

The London leaders have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond warning that London’s housing crisis will only be brought under control if local councils and City Hall are given the money and powers they need to deliver more affordable homes for Londoners, including the green light for a new generation of council housing.

Last year, Khan was awarded £3.15 billion to start building 90,000 affordable homes by 2021. However, with London now reportedly needing an unparalleled 66,000 new homes every year, the leaders are making the case to ministers that this must be only the beginning of significant investment in new homes across the city.

Khan said: “This is the most important budget for London for a generation – and it’s Philip Hammond’s chance to show he is serious about joining us in helping more Londoners secure a decent, affordable home. We want to build more affordable homes, including new council housing - and Londoners are desperate for us to do so. But we urgently need Government to play its part by giving the capital the resources, powers, and freedoms we need to underpin a step change in what we can do.

“Archaic rules need to be reformed, a legacy of underinvestment needs to be reversed, and new powers need to be devolved to London. Turning London’s housing crisis around won’t happen overnight but the best chance we have is if London’s government – from town halls to City Hall – are put firmly in the driving seat.”

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