Housebuilding is the Mayor of London’s single biggest priority and he says he is keen for Transport for London (TfL), as one of London’s largest landowners, to develop “genuinely affordable” homes.
London is in dire need of more homes and using public land is one way to help deliver homes at lower prices, but there are obstacles.
The London Assembly Housing Committee report ‘Homes down the track – a marathon and a sprint for TfL’ makes recommendations including:
- TfL is not a property developer. Journeying in that direction takes time and money, implies organisational change with long-lasting consequences.
- Delivering affordable homes on expensive sites requires significant subsidy.
- Small developers need to build homes. TfL needs to work closely with the boroughs to shoulder some costs.
Andrew Boff, former Chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee said, “TfL is gearing up to become a significant property developer, with the help of private sector expertise. In forming joint ventures with its development partners, it is retaining a long-term interest, offering it control over what is built, and generating ongoing revenues.
“TfL has set itself the target of starts on sites by 2020 to deliver 10,000 homes. This is something of a sprint. We don’t think it’s going to make it unless it takes some radical steps. We need to be clear about the trade-offs TfL’s making, to be sure its land is delivers the best deal for Londoners.”