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LONDONWIDE INITIATIVE TO DELIVER HIGH QUALITY AFFORDABLE HOMES

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The first stage of the government's programme to help key workers and...
The first stage of the government's programme to help key workers and

first time buyers onto the property ladder has taken a major step

forward, deputy prime minister John Prescott announced at the

Delivering Sustainable Communities Summit today.

The London Wide Initiative (LWI) will deliver 4,000 high

quality homes on disused brownfield land, half of which will be

affordable homes for key workers and first time buyers.

English Partnerships (EP) - the government's national regeneration

agency - has signed heads of terms with the three development and

management partners (DMPs) selected to take forward the initiative -

Countryside, First Base Partnership and Key London Alliance.

Mr Prescott said:

'I am delighted that by making the most of our public sector assets,

and pooling our skills and resources, we can deliver affordable homes

without sacrificing quality. It's not a one-size fits all policy -

it's about combining high design standards with a cost effective and

innovative approach to construction.'

The aim of the LWI is to combine high quality design, modern

construction methods, cost efficiencies and speed of delivery. With

the DMPs sharing the risks of the development process with EP and

spreading the costs and returns across the portfolio, the LWI should

enable a more efficient and cost effective delivery of homes.

London mayor Ken Livingstone also announced last week that he

would contribute additional sites to boost the delivery of the First

Time Buyers Initiative launched by Mr Prescott in the ODPM five year plan Homes for All. This was in response to Mr Prescott's call to local authorities and other public

bodies to use their own assets to deliver more affordable homes for

first time buyers.

Mr Livingstone said:

'Today's announcement really kick starts the London Wide Initiative

into delivering affordable homes on a greater scale than we have ever

seen before. As we move forward the challenge now is to make sure

that we deliver not only affordable but quality homes that their

owners can be proud of. I am very pleased that we can speed up this

initiative by making available more land under my control for new

affordable homes.'

Chair of English Partnerships Margaret Ford said:

'This is a major step towards successfully delivering the London Wide

Initiative programme and ensuring a better deal for key workers and

first time buyers. The additional sites pledged by the mayor of

London are a huge boost.'

Each DMP aims to develop a minimum of one thousand homes as part of

the pilot phase of the Initiative. Schemes for the first three sites

are at an advanced design stage, with starts on site anticipated this

summer.

English Partnerships has so far acquired a mixed portfolio of fifteen

sites across the capital ranging from the former Catford Greyhound

Stadium in south London to Adelaide Wharf in Hackney. Each site will

include a mix of open-market sale as well as low-cost ownership and

rental homes with the aim of delivering a total of up to four

thousand homes over the next five years.

Notes

1. The consortia are:

* Countryside Properties PLC (Countryside Properties PLC (lead) in

partnership with Acton Housing Association, Hyde Housing Association,

Metropolitan Housing Trust, Presentation Housing Association);

* First Base Partnership (First Base Limited (lead), ABROS Enterprise

Ltd, Bank of Scotland, East Choice, Lend Lease Europe Ltd, London and

Quadrant Group, Southern Housing Home Ownership, Stanhope PLC); and

* Key London Alliance (Circle 33 Housing Trust Ltd (lead), Notting

Hill Home Ownership, Willmott Dixon Housing Ltd in partnership with

Barratt Homes).

2. Homes for All sets out a five year strategy:

* Help 80 000 more people into home ownership by 2010, including a

new initiative to help first time buyers, in part by using public

land for new homes;

* A new Homebuy scheme to enable up to 300 000 social tenants to buy

a share in their home;

* Investing£1.1bn in four Growth Areas across the wider South

East and up to£40m to support other areas which want to

pursue growth;

* Protect the environment and urban heritage through new powers to

limit low density development and protect the green belt, and also by

introducing a new code for sustainable buildings;

* Provide all social tenants, and seven out of ten vulnerable people

in the private sector, with a decent home, and delivering an extra 10

000 social homes per year;

* To cut by half the number of people in temporary accommodation by

2010;

* To extend the market renewal programme to revive housing markets to

new areas suffering low demand;

* Provide support for people who choose alternative types of

accommodation, such as Gypsies and Travellers, but taking action to

crack down on unauthorized development.

3. Visit: www.odpm.gov.uk/fiveyearstrategy

4. The mayor of London Ken Livingstone announced that he would

contribute additional sites to boost the delivery of the First Time

Buyers Initiative

http:www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=4807

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