Responding to the launch of the government’s social housing green paper, Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive member for housing and planning, said:
“London desperately needs more social housing and London boroughs must be empowered to build the homes our communities need.
“While boroughs will be pleased the long-awaited green paper proposes new flexibilities aimed at increasing local authorities’ social housing stock, we need to see the government act with more urgency.
“The longer it takes to implement these changes, the worse the capital’s homelessness crisis will get. There are more than 54,000 London households living in temporary accommodation and we can’t afford to keep waiting.
“There can be no doubt that boroughs want to build more housing. In the past year alone, boroughs have approved planning permission on 55,000 new homes and we work with a range of partners to maximise delivery.
“But continuing restrictions set by central government mean we’re doing this with one hand tied behind our backs. This is why we’re calling on the government to scrap the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap and the restrictions on the use of Right to Buy receipts. Boroughs must be allowed to borrow prudently to invest in social housing.”