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Brokenshire tells GLA to ‘step up’

Words: Laura Edgar
London / Shutterstock_68997331

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has called on the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to ‘step up’ their efforts to deliver housing in the capital.

Speaking at London First’s Building London Summit this week (30 January), the housing secretary said the government is “making every effort, from every angle”, to get the capital and the rest of Britain building.

But now he “needs to see the GLA stepping up”.

Brokenshire said that “despite all the talk of putting housing first”, the GLA's housing record is “disappointing”. With ordinary Londoners, families in search of a home with a garden, and workers priced out of living within commutable distances in mind, the government has raised concerns about Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s draft London Plan. Brokenshire said the government is pursuing it through it Examination in Public, currently under way.

Now, though, he and the rest of the government want to see “the GLA urgently picking up the pace” and delivering its affordable housing targets.

“London’s boroughs can and must also lead the charge – both individually and by working together across boundaries – to match the record of those such as Croydon, Westminster and Wandsworth, which are going the extra mile to build more homes.

"Because there has been no better time – with all the support this government is providing – for local authorities to develop new partnerships and to be bolder and more ambitious in their thinking about how to drive up supply and meet their residents’ needs.”

In a statement sent to The Planner, James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development, said: "This is a desperate attempt at political distraction by the Secretary of State who has a track record of blocking plans for new homes, including those at social rent levels, which Sadiq has given the go-ahead to.

“Under Sadiq, City Hall started building more social and affordable homes last year than ever before – including more social homes than the rest of England and Wales combined.

“The minister knows that Sadiq has hit every single target for affordable housing that were agreed by his own department, and that his colleagues’ handling of Brexit has made fixing the housing crisis even tougher.”

At the conference, Brokenshire said homes would be built on the top of London rooftops by the summer. Homes England has agreed a £9 million funding deal with an airspace developer. Read more about this here on The Planner.

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