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London Boroughs to get more housing powers under mayor's proposal

Local authorities in London could deal more directly with housebuilders and get more control over housing budgets under plans proposed by mayor Boris Johnson and London Councils today.

A paper called A Framework for Devolved Delivery outlines plans to give boroughs greater autonomy over housing budgets, place them at the forefront of negotiations with developers and give them more responsibility to ensure the needs of their local communities are met.

Under the plans, Local authorities would sign up to a voluntary Devolved Delivery Agreement which would see the mayor and the London Housing Board allocate an agreed indicative housing budget set for the duration of the spending round, in return for promises to create more affordable housing and make better use of resources.

Currently, the Homes and Communities Agency allocates more than 80 per cent of the housing funding for London.

All London boroughs have been asked to comment on the plans.

Mr Johnson said: “I firmly believe we should empower London’s boroughs so that more decisions are taken directly by those in the communities they affect. I hope boroughs across the capital will consider the proposals we have announced today. I’m inviting them to enter into the devolution debate so that together, we can find the best way to unlock London’s housing potential, deliver more quality affordable housing and make sure we achieve our goal of halving serious overcrowding.”