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'At least' £750m of £4.5bn Budget 2013 stimulus will go to London

Deputy mayor Richard Blakeway has told CN the Greater London Authority “needs to do more” on housing, and plans to exit all of the 525 hectares of sites transferred to it under devolution by the end of Boris’ term in 2016.

Mr Blakeway, who is responsible for housing, land and property, also told CN “at least” £750m of the housing measures announced in the budget would be going to London.

£1bn in direct funding and a further £3.5bn in mortgage support was announced.

“The reality is we need to do more, and take a long term approach,” he said. “For 20 years there’s been undersupply of homes in the capital – it’s a challenge that will take 20 years to address.”

He said the mayor wanted “an exit” on all the sites transferred to the GLA as part of the devolution settlement.

That would total around 625 hectares, of which about 100 has been disposed of since May last year - with a gross development value of about £1bn.

Mr Blakeway insisted he was “very confident” the GLA would deliver on its housing targets.

CN found in November that the body had completed just 425 homes in six months – a rate of seven per cent of the three-yearly average.

Mr Blakeway added that the GLA had had “a huge number of conversations” about how to design bespoke accommodation for the rental market, as interest had skyrocketed in the GLA’s portion of a £200m build-to-rent fund.

But he conceded that the mayor’s office needed to build more homes of all tenure.

“Probably in this mayoral term [London] will have its biggest population ever in its 2,000 year history.”

Mr Blakeway added that a “significant proportion” of a £225m fund for affordable housing announced in the budget would go to the GLA, “subject to a conversation with the government”.

The mayor’s office keeps an online database of its land holdings.

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