Homes for residents, not investors

H&F Council today set out a clear message of “homes for residents, not overseas investors”.

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Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council, at the MIPIM event

Hammersmith & Fulham Council today set out a clear message of “homes for residents, not overseas investors”, “put residents first” and “Save Charing Cross Hospital” at MIPIM, the international property developers’ conference taking place in Olympia London.

The stall had been booked before the last election. The new administration decided it provided an opportunity to set out its vision to deal with London’s housing crisis and build developments that fit into the character of the area.

Council leader Stephen Cowan said: “All too often property developers treat the increase in land values in our borough as some sort of gold rush bonanza.

“Too many present ridiculous viability assessments that offer piffling amounts of affordable homes, with designs and scale that are out of character with the neighbourhoods they want to put them in and in some cases with over 80 per cent of what’s built being sold off-plan to overseas investors.

“That’s not good enough and very little use to anyone. We are already working with responsible developers but those who don’t care about doing the right thing should look elsewhere.”

The council is committed to delivering more affordable housing in Hammersmith & Fulham, where the average property price is higher than £600,000 – more than 1.6 times higher than the average London home. Rents are also much higher than in other boroughs, with households facing an average monthly rent of nearly £1,500.

Details of the council’s vision for affordable local housing are being laid out by the authority’s team at MIPIM, which runs until 17 October.

In summary, H&F Council is vowing to:

  • Strengthen the planning criteria for developers to build social rented homes and low-cost homes to buy
  • Use planning and legal powers to ensure that new homes go to residents
  • Use planning powers to ensure that new developments provide more affordable housing
  • Encourage the building of larger homes to help with overcrowding
  • Work with charities and faith communities to tackle homelessness in the borough
  • Drive up standards in the private rented sector and introduce a Landlord’s Charter
  • Prosecute rogue landlords
  • Negotiate with private sector leaseholders to limit residents being forced out of the borough
  • Support those unfairly targeted by housing benefit and local housing allowance cuts

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