Mayor Boris Johnson has promised to spend more than £1 billion on building “thousands“ of low cost homes for low-income households.
City Hall says the money will help deliver 45,000 more homes and that further funding will be announced “shortly”.
Announcing the cash, Mr Johnson said: “For over thirty years, regardless of boom and bust, governments of every hue have failed to build enough homes.”
To tackle that undersupply he has today published a new draft housing strategy which includes a target of building 42,000 new homes each year.
Sir Steve Bullock, housing spokesperson at London Councils, said the Mayor’s promised 45,000 homes “represents a fraction of the homes London needs”. The body represents all local authorities in the capital and says 800,000 homes need to be built by 2021 to meet the demands of a rising population.
The Mayor’s draft strategy renews calls for London to gain control over property taxes in order to provide long-term funding for development and establishing a London Housing Bank to provide loans to developers.
Mr Johnson said reversing the shortage of homes “requires a radical shift in how we prioritise housing to ensure we do not compromise our economic growth, and a collective effort from City Hall, government, and industry to treat housing as an essential infrastructure.”
London Assembly Members say the strategy is insufficient to tackle the shortage of homes and will help the wrong buyers.
Labour AM Tom Copley said the document “describes the problems with London’s housing market, but does very little to address them.”
He added: “Funding for building affordable housing has dropped from £1.2 billion a year between 2008 and 2011 to just £1billion for the whole of 2015 to 2018. This is nowhere near enough to provide the affordable homes we need at rents that are affordable to low paid Londoners.”
Darren Johnson AM, a Green party member of the Assembly, warned that the Mayor is doing too little to address the sale of homes to investors and overseas buyers.
He said: ”The Mayor needs a radical vision for housing, with enough money to build the social housing we desperately need, regulations to stabilise rents and give tenants more security, and taxes to damp down demand from rich investors.”
The Mayor’s strategy is available online at www.london.gov.uk and is open for public consultation until February 2014.