Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Building Cheap Homes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Building Cheap Homes

Article excerpt

THE ANNOUNCEMENT BY the Transport and Local Government Secretary, Stephen Byers, that the Government is considering using the planning system to encourage developers to include affordable homes in their projects will be welcomed by Londoners, whether or not they are public sector workers. The growing shortage of teachers and nurses affects us all, and a prime reason is the capital's exorbitant housing costs. Increasing London weighting or subsidising the cost of new homes is not the long term answer. Directly or indirectly the cost will eventually fall on the public services themselves, and any general hike in London weighting will merely give another inflationary nudge to the housing market. But as always the devil is in the detail, and care will need to be taken to get the mixture right. At present agreements between developers and planners to include low-cost housing are reached informally. If the percentage demanded by planning authorities is too high some developments will simply not be built, or will be constructed to a lower specification. …

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