Starter Homes

MQT on 2015-03-25
Session date: 
March 25, 2015
Question By: 
Steve O'Connell
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Following the Government's announcement of its new starter homes scheme, what London sites are being considered to benefit from the scheme and how many homes would this deliver?


Answer for Starter Homes

Answer for Starter Homes

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, this is an interesting proposal.  It is very good stuff and I welcome the Starter Homes exemption site policy.  We will have to see which sites now come forward.  That is the difficulty in London and, obviously, Croydon.  I am sure you will be working hard as usual for Croydon to deliver some great new starter homes there.


Steve O’Connell AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  Yes, certainly, the scheme sounds very promising.  It is a scheme that homes will be offered at a minimum of 20% discount and that will be achieved in essence by the removal of the section 106 on the builders.  That has to be welcomed to enable people to get perhaps their first step on the housing ladder.


I am keen, however - although I am aware now that the list has yet to be established - that clearly we want the lion’s share of this scheme in London.  It is our responsibility to see that one through.  When I looked at the website, I was a little bit disconcerted to see that the local authorities that have pledged their support predominantly, other than the illustrious London Borough of Bexley, are all outside London.


Therefore, Mr Mayor, although it is relatively early stages with this, although our residents can register for that scheme, I would like your assurance that you and your officers will seek to pursue this scheme and to pursue boroughs to register an interest so that London does get the lion’s share.


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, of course.  The issue will be finding the sites.  Boroughs already identify all suitable housing sites as part of the Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment and so they are already doing that.


Where there are good sites for this particular Starter Homes exemption sites policy, I would be very keen to hear about them as soon as possible.  If you are aware of sites in Croydon or wherever that are not coming forward and that you think would be eligible, can I propose that you talk to Ric [Ric Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property] and get them moving?


Steve O’Connell AM:  Yes, but of course the issue we have is the land prices in London.  If the commitment is 100,000 homes, the builders may be tempted to look elsewhere and we need to consider that.  I will be speaking to Ric to make sure that London, not just my part ‑‑


Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, the whole thing, of course.


Steve O’Connell AM:  ‑‑ gets its lion’s share and we will look at this as the year progresses, Mayor.  Thank you, Chairman.