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London Councils statement on Housing White Paper

Responding the the publication of the Government's Housing White Paper, Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils' executive member for housing, said:

“The UK has not been building enough homes to properly house its population for many years. This negatively impacts the quality of life for everyone, on the aspirations of young people in particular and on businesses.

“In London alone we now have 50,000 households in temporary accommodation and have seen consistent increases- laying bare the full impact of welfare reform coupled with a housing supply crisis.

“In recent years, London boroughs have had to make difficult and often unpopular decisions to increase the amount of housing supply within the constraints of the existing housing and planning system. While the housing crisis is particularly keenly felt in the capital, London’s housing shortage cannot be solved within London alone, no matter how high or densely we build. Therefore, we welcome the White Paper’s boldness in opening up a national debate about how and where we can build more houses in the UK.

“We also welcome Government’s commitment to supporting build to rent.  London Councils has maintained a one-size-fits-all approach will not work – and that we must see a variety of homes, of a range of tenures built to offer housing solutions for all Londoners.

“We also would encourage government to build on the positive direction in the paper and devolve more powers to councils to allow them to develop.  Simply putting pressure on councils to build more is not acceptable, particularly as many have clear ambitions to build. Authorities must be given the powers, support and resources to realise these ambitions - which means cutting red tape around planning regulations and providing adequate funding to support major housing projects."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The full paper can be found here.