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Liberal Democrats unveil 'wild' housing plans
Liberal Democrats unveiled plans to turn around 35 years of housing failure and deliver thousands of affordable homes but critics branded the scheme wild.
In a report this week, Lib Dem London Assembly Members Stephen Knight and Caroline Pidgeon set out a plan to deliver 270,000 homes in the capital by 2018.
The report sets out seven policy changes relating to London boroughs, the Mayor and Government, which include increased expenditure in affordable homes and scrapping the housing revenue account borrowing cap.
Coun Knight said: “There is now an overwhelming economic case for investment in new affordable homes in London.
“At a time when finance is cheap and spare capacity exists in the construction sector it makes absolute sense to borrow to build.”
The plans would also create an additional 135,000 jobs in the construction sector.
Twickenham MP Vince Cable said: “There is a crippling shortage of affordable housing locally as rents and house prices escalate.
“Families on middle and low incomes cannot get anywhere near an average property in London, this is a very worrying trend that needs to be addressed.”
Coun Knight said the onus was on local authorities to take advantage of sites and build affordable homes - a promise Lib Dems have pledged if they win the Richmond election in May.
Conservative opponents criticised the scheme and said Tory-controlled councils had excelled in delivering affordable homes.
Tory London Assembly Member Tony Arbour, who is also a Richmond councillor, branded the proposals a “wild scheme” from a party with no hope of achieving office in London.
He noted that Boris Johnson has already delivered 54,000 affordable homes in his first term and proposes a further 55,000 by 2015.
He said: “These are real homes not Lib Dem pie in the sky homes.
“They do not say where the money will come from for their wild scheme nor where they will built.
“The test of Lib Dem promises is what they build in the boroughs they control.
“In the last 10 years only one borough had a worse record than Kingston and Sutton is in the lowest 12.
“Tory controlled Richmond has delivered more homes in every year than the Lib Dems did when they were in office."
To view the report, visit the GLA Lib Dems website.
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