Sadiq Khan has recently published his London Housing Strategy which re-states his manifesto aims to increase the supply of affordable housing. His proposals include building 90,000 affordable homes by 2021 and introducing a £250 million rolling fund to allow the GLA to acquire and prepare land before selling it to house builders.
Khan has also announced his intention to lobby the government to reduce the 3% SDLT surcharge on BTR properties as a solution to the housing crisis in the capital. This move will be welcomed by property developers who are facing increasing costs as a result of government initiatives.
However, tackling the housing shortage will require extensive funding which may not be forthcoming. The Mayor has called for his budget to be increased by redirecting stamp duty revenues to his office. Notably, this was a request made by Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor, which was similarly declined by the Government. Stamp duty receipts in London have increased by over 300% from 2008/09 to 2015/16 and access to them would undoubtedly help to fund the Mayor’s initiatives.
Grant Thornton’s London Housing Inquiry have similarly had discussions on addressing the housing shortage. While we welcome the Mayor’s comments, how the Government react to the proposals and what results from them remains to be seen.