Westminster leader calls for affordable housing tariff

The leader of Westminster City Council has urged the government to allow local authorities the power to impose tariffs on developers to provide cash for more affordable housing.

Cllr Nickie Aiken stated that housing inequality across the London borough is ‘stark’, whereby the housing market ‘is polarised between multimillion properties for oligarchs and social housing estates, with not much in between’.

A quarter of Westminster’s housing stock is social rented, with Westminster set to spend over £285 million over the next five years repairing and improving council homes to meet the changing needs of the population. Due to high house prices in the areas, the House a City for All strategy becomes even more important.

Arguing that Westminster should become ‘a place where they can settle for life’, the council leader says that local authorities need to make the most of their own housing renewal programmes and Planning policies, and urged for greater flexibility in borrowing and spending in relation to housing.

A ‘locally-set charge paid on net increases in floor space’ would allow the council to charge developers to minimise the burden they place on local infrastructure, raising funds for for affordable housing in the process.

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