London’s housing crisis could be solved if government allowed the capital to retain stamp duty from all property sales, London mayor Boris Johnson.
The Conservative mayor used a speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing to argue also for the removal of borrowing limits, something which councils have long argued has restricted house building.
“If we do not come up with a new plan to build the homes we need, this great city will suffer and the whole country will feel the consequences,” Mr Johnson was set to say.
“What is needed now is a radically different approach which optimises City Hall’s role, unlocks the potential of the capital’s boroughs, allows developers including housing associations to up their game and creates a stable supply of land for housing.
“I am calling on the coalition to give us the tools and we will solve the crisis, supporting and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and boosting economic growth across the UK along the way.”
London Councils’ executive member for housing, Lewisham LBC mayor Sir Steve Bullock (Lab) agreed that “London government - and not Whitehall - is the best place for addressing this problem”.
He added: “London is in the grip of an acute housing crisis and the only solution is to start building more homes - one which London’s boroughs are ready and willing to embrace. If borrowing limits on town halls are removed, local authorities can build up to 54,000 new homes. We are pleased that the mayor is joining us in campaigning for this freedom.”
Mr Johnson’s proposal for retention of another property tax comes after the government agreed to let councils across England retain 50% of business rate growth, although the mayor is only proposing the change to stamp duty for London.