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Khan commits to Lord Kerslake’s recommendations to increase affordable housing delivery

Words: Laura Edgar
Flats / iStock-637717370

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged to implement a series of recommendations intended to streamline housing development and enshrine the expectation to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing on GLA Group land. 

The recommendations feature in a review commissioned by Khan and carried out by Lord Bob Kerslake. 

The delivery of more homes, in particular council and social housing, is a priority for Khan, while Lord Kerslake's review was promised in the mayor's 2021 manifesto.
Since 2016, the GLA Group has started construction on more than 17,000 homes on its land, a “significant” contribution to overall housing delivery in the capital. Khan wants to maximise the number of homes being built on land owned or released by the GLA Group.

The review sets out 15 recommendations across five themes:

  • oversight of GLA Group housing delivery;
  • GLA Group collaboration on housing delivery;
  • City Hall developer
  • LLDC transition; and
  • finance and funding.

One recommendation is for the mayor to mandate a statement of shared policy to confirm priorities for housing delivery on GLA Group land, which Khan published on Friday, the same time as the report was published. It has been endorsed by deputy mayors and chief executives across the GLA Group.

The statement of shared policy enshrines the minimum expectation of 50 per cent affordable housing on GLA Group sites and reinforces the expectation that all development on GLA Group land should be undertaken in accordance with the London Plan policies on good growth, including high sustainability standards. 

The statement also commits the GLA Group to improving collaboration and consistency in its approach to housing delivery.

Another recommendation sets out how the mayor’s proposals for a City Hall developer can be implemented in two phases. Lord Kerslake confirms that a City Hall developer could provide additional development capacity to the sector, to help to ‘close the gap’ on future housing supply and would provide greater certainty that the mayor’s objectives will be prioritised. 

Khan said: “Tackling the housing crisis has always been a top priority for me.

“I am proud to have achieved record-breaking delivery of genuinely affordable homes during my first term as mayor. This achievement includes working with boroughs to kick-start a renaissance in council homebuilding, with more council homes started across the capital last year than in any year since the 1970s.

“But I know we must do even more and I’m keen to lead by example through maximising the number of genuinely affordable homes built on land owned by the GLA Group. I thank Lord Kerslake for working with rigour and at pace to conduct his independent Review of GLA Group Housing Delivery. I am confident that this review will lay the path to enable a step change in how the GLA Group collaborates and delivers new genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.

“I accept the recommendations of Lord Kerslake’s Review of GLA Group Housing Delivery in full and now look forward to redoubling our efforts to build more of the homes Londoner’s need and deserve.”

Lord Kerslake commented: “There can be little argument about the essential need for more new housing and more genuinely affordable housing in London. I hope that my report assists in delivering the mayor’s housing ambitions. Every one of the members of the GLA Group has a part to play in this.

“This review has been done at pace, but thanks to the cooperation I have received across the group and the terrific support from the GLA, I believe it has been possible to get to the bottom of the issues and make firm recommendations.

“There is a need for stronger professional leadership, and a more unified, coherent, and streamlined approach. A City Hall developer has real potential to add significant value to London’s housing sector and should be delivered over two stages.”

Alongside the release of the review, Khan announced that following a competitive procurement process with the London Development Panel, Optivo, in partnership with Countryside, has been selected to develop a number of sites, including the surplus Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) at the former Peel Centre in Colindale. The sites will deliver more than 800 homes. 

The Review of GLA Group Housing Delivery can be found on the Greater London Authority website.

Image credit | iStock