London housing cut

8 April 2011

Housing associations in London are to cut the number of new homes they build despite government targets to increase housing, Building reported.

The news came just days after the government announced its New Homes Bonus to provide incentives for councils to build more homes.

A survey of the G15 group of London social landlords found that the majority were planning to cut the number of new homes built, with six of them planning to cut output by half or more.

The G15 survey was carried out by the organisation itself and follows growing concern over the cuts and over the plan to allow landlords to raise rents to 80% of the market price to fund new homes, which is likely to ensure homes are unaffordable for many tenants.

Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of G15 member Family Mosaic, said: “The government shouldn’t underestimate our ambition to build, but this model makes it very difficult for us.”

David Montague, chief executive of another G15 member, L&Q, said that without major change, L&Q also will have to reduce the number of homes built. “The way things are it will result in fewer homes,” he said.

In a separate survey, Constructionline, the contractor prequalification body, revealed that public sector clients have been finding savings by cancelling large numbers of projects, Building reported.

The Constructionline survey found that in the six months following the Comprehensive Spending Review, 58 per cent of public sector clients have shelved plans for new projects.

Over the next six months, more than two-thirds of clients plan to cut more projects, with councils planning to axe 71% of projects.

In a separate story Building Design reported that only one of Labour’s 10 eco-towns will now be built to the original environmental standards.

Only Northwest Bicester in Oxfordshire is likely to be built fully in line with the original rules, which included being zero carbon and exemplars in at least one area of environment technology.

However, Cabe has refused to support the scheme, claiming that it’s eco-credentials are limited and that “there is little deviation from the standard suburban housing model”.

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