30 October 2017
Chancellor urged to empower London Councils to build new homes
The Chancellor could help address London’s lack of affordable housing by allowing London Boroughs to borrow more to build new homes, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said in its Budget submission.
Research by LCCI has repeatedly found that the undersupply of housing is impacting London businesses, causing difficulties for employers and employees.
A recent LCCI commissioned poll, by ComRes, of over 1000 London businesses found that 48% ranked better availability and affordability of housing as the top two ways to improve retention of staff.
To keep pace with London’s rapidly increasing population, forecast to reach 10 million citizens by 2030, the capital will require at least 50,000 new homes every year over the next two decades.
LCCI is asking the Chancellor to review the local authority Housing Revenue Account Borrowing cap in order to deliver greater numbers of new homes and estate regeneration.
Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: “Rising housing costs and the lack of affordable homes, either to rent or to own, within commutable distances of workplaces is generating pressure on employers to increase wages, leads to limited employee productivity and can often create challenges in recruiting and retaining staff.
“Local councils should be empowered to build more local homes in their local areas.
"Removing their inability to borrow sufficiently to invest in housing could ease the pressure on our growing city”.
Separately, within its Budget submission, LCCI is also calling for Business Rates to be frozen, reviewed and, in London’s case, decoupled from the national rating system.
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NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge is available for further comment and interview.
3. All business confidence indicators declined during Q3 2017. Overall company prospects fell for the second consecutive quarter, with, on balance, 7% of businesses expecting their overall performance to worsen - down from -3% in Q2 of this year.
4. View the full QES Q3 2017 here
5. ComRes Survey for LCCI and London Councils of more than 100 business can be found here
6. 70% of London businesses believe that it is important to minimise customs procedures on trade with the EU, compared to only 17% who classify it as not very important or not important at all – ComRes survey for LCCI of 504 businesses, Feb-March 2017
7. LCCI's full submission can be found here