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London Assembly urges Boris to release cash for more homes

London Assembly has called on the Mayor of London to build more affordable homes to ease the current housing crisis

Today (25 February) London Assembly members backed a motion urging the Mayor to use surplus revenue from Transport for London and the newly acquired freedom to distribute business rates, to pay for more affordable housing in the capital.

Just 425 affordable homes were started, and 1,558 completed, across London in the 6-month period to September 2012.

Stephen Knight, assembly member said: ‘London needs a massive increase in the number of new affordable homes to ensure that Londoners can find a good place to live at a reasonable price.

‘The money is out there. Over each of the last three years alone, Transport for London’s unbudgeted surpluses have topped a quarter of a billion pounds and it is time that cash was put to work easing the housing crisis.

‘The Mayor must recognise that housing is the biggest economic and social challenge facing London today. He has the tools - it’s time he got to work.’

Nicky Gavron, assembly member said: ‘Nobody can deny that London is facing a housing crisis. Every day we see standards going down, while complaints go up and rents – for those lucky enough to find a home - are skyrocketing.

‘Thousands of the worst-off are being forced to choose between heating and eating, yet TfL generates hundreds of millions of pounds in surplus revenue. The Mayor now also has the freedom to redistribute business-rates and holds enough undeveloped land to cover Hyde Park five times over. Why can’t it be put to use?’

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