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London boroughs to control housing budgets

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London boroughs will determine how their own housing budgets are spent under radical proposals put forward by the city’s mayor Boris Johnson and the London Councils think-tank

The Framework for Devolved Delivery would see boroughs given the financial freedom to play a leading role in discussions with developers and identify and respond to specific local housing needs.

A housing budget covering a set period would be allocated to a borough under the Devolved Delivery Agreement, allowing the local authority to plan housing and regeneration schemes.

The Mayor Johnson said: ‘I firmly believe we should empower London’s boroughs so that more decisions are taken directly by those in the communities they affect.

‘I hope boroughs across the capital will consider the proposals we have announced today (12 August). I’m inviting them to enter into the devolution debate so that together, we can find the best way to unlock London’s housing potential, deliver more quality affordable housing and make sure we achieve our goal of halving serious overcrowding.’

The move is designed to encourage boroughs to use resources more efficiently and increase the amount of affordable housing to help meet the 50,000 target of London Housing Strategy. More than 50 per cent of this target has already been met.

The Homes and Communities Agency is responsible for allocating more than 80 per cent of the housing funding for the capital.

Under devolved delivery, the Mayor and the London Housing Board - which includes borough representatives - will agree an indicative budget for boroughs, allowing them to allocate this funding according to London-wide and individual priorities.

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