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Building homes affordable for Londoners must be the top priority of the Mayor’s budget – Caroline Pidgeon

January 27, 2016 2:35 PM

Building more affordable homes must be the top priority of the Mayor's budget is the central message of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group amendment to the Mayor's draft budget for the next year.

Their amendment to the Mayor's budget, which will be considered later today (Wednesday 27th January) , sets out ambitious plans to dramatically increase housing investment in London by converting the current Olympic precept, which is typically £20 a year for most householders, into a new 'housing precept'.

A combination of freezing the council tax set by the Mayor over the next two years and using cash that has not yet been allocated by the Mayor would release £86.4 million per annum from 2017/2018. This income would provide the long term revenue stream to allow responsible borrowing to take place unleashing a massive £2 billion long term boost to housing investment in London.

The proposals would deliver 50,000 new low rent 'council' homes over the next four years - delivering a scale of homebuilding not seen since the days of the London County Council and the Greater London Council. The proposals would also deliver 100,000 new jobs in the building industry.

Setting out why such an amendment to the Mayor's budget is so needed Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

"The shortage of affordable homes in London remains the gravest crisis facing our city, with over 500,000 people languishing on housing waiting lists and with far too many families living in overcrowded homes.

"For decades London has failed to build enough new homes, driving up rents and putting property prices well beyond the reach of most ordinary Londoners."

"Our budget amendment unashamedly says that just as Londoners' rose to the challenge and helped to fund the Olympic and Paralympic Games it is now time a similar commitment was shown to building new affordable homes.

The comprehensive budget amendment put forward by the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Members Stephen Knight and Caroline Pidgeon also includes:

  • Bold measures to tackle air pollution in London
  • Targeted fares savings
  • Measures to tackle road congestion
  • Fully restoring neighbourhood policing, measures to safeguard children and extra action to tackle knife crime
  • Measures to increase the take up of the London Living Wage
  • Work to start on the introduction of a voluntary hotel room occupancy levy to fund childcare costs across the capital.

ENDS