Anyone wanting to buy a home built with City Hall’s cash or on its land would need to prove three years residency in the capital under proposals published today by Tory Mayoral hopeful Stephen Greenhalgh.
The former leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council is currently the highest profile figure in the race to become the party’s candidate in next year’s Mayoral election.
If he eventually becomes Mayor he’s pledged to use City Hall’s landholdings – one of the largest public sector land portfolios in the UK – and multi-million pound housing budget to build homes for the city’s key workers.
Mr Greenhalgh says he’d built at least 50,000 new “affordable” homes over his term which would be reserved for people who have lived or worked in the capital for at least three years.
He says his record in Hammersmith and Fulham where 2,230 affordable homes were built during his leadership proves he can deliver.
In addition to building new homes, Mr Greenhalgh has promised to lobby for a new tax to be levied on companies who buy homes and leave them unoccupied and for a separate levy on developers who fail to build on their land holdings.
Announcing his new homes pledge, Mr Greenhalgh said: “Boris has done a great job building almost 100,000 new affordable homes across London, often with many boroughs resisting, but we still need more new homes of every kind – that’s why I have already pledged 50,000 new affordable homes for the brilliant people who keep our city alive, the essential workers like teachers, paramedics, police officers, firefighters and nurses.
“The priority from 2016 is also to deliver a home ownership revolution in London. At the moment we risk having an entire generation priced out of the London housing market, stuck on rent and unable to buy – something Labour’s obsession with providing only social rented housing will perpetuate.
“I will put Londoners at the front of the queue to buy new homes they can afford.”
However Tom Chance, Green Party housing spokesperson, said the would-be Mayor’s record was less positive than he claims.
Mr Chance commented: “The so-called affordable ownership homes being built in Hammersmith and Fulham under Greenhalgh’s leadership weren’t affordable to most nurses, teachers and junior police officers.
“Even the cheaper ones don’t stay affordable, the prices rise with the rest of the market. The Green Party would prioritise funds and land for social housing, more of which is desperately needed, and for affordable homes to buy in Community Land Trusts.
“These approaches could provide permanently affordable homes for the key workers London depends upon.”