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Town Halls call for Whitehall cash to save housing market

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:49 05 October 2010

A LOBBY fighting for London’s 33 town halls is calling on the Government to stump up £350 million to help protect the capital’s housing market. London Councils wants at least 4,000 homes available to rent. The organisation voted last night (Monday) to set up a new housing agency, Homes for London, which would operate separately to normal council housing

Mike Brooke

A LOBBY fighting for London’s 33 town halls is calling on the Government to stump up £350 million to help protect the capital’s housing market.

London Councils wants at least 4,000 homes available to rent. It would also mean 2,000 low-cost properties now at risk as developers feel the pinch in the credit crunch could now be completed.

The organisation plans to set up a new housing agency, Homes for London, which would operate separately to normal council housing.

“The £350m needed isn’t a lot to achieve all that we’re proposing,” said London Councils’ chairman Merrick Cockell.

“Local authorities can get Homes for London up and running in the New Year if the Government gives us the green light.”

The agency would help local authorities buy existing or planned housing from developers or housing associations to offer for five or 10 years at intermediate or market rents.

A sample of 16 London boroughs has found 700 proposed low-cost homes won’t be built because of the economic downturn, with a further 350 under threat or delayed. It suggests a figure of 2,000 across the capital under threat unless action is taken.

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