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Government anger over London housing rescue package

Communities department has yet to approve Boris Johnson’s £135m scheme

London mayor Boris Johnson’s £135 million scheme to boost home building in the capital has run into trouble within its first week.

Housing minister Margaret Beckett is said to be furious that the package was announced on Tuesday without government consent.

Mr Johnson joined the Homes and Communities Agency in revealing measures to kick start housing construction. These include a £93 million cash injection to revive stalled regeneration schemes, and £42 million to support the delivery of nearly 500 ‘intermediate rent’ homes, which will offer occupiers a discounted rent until they are in a position to buy.

However, the Communities and Local Government Department said it still needed to approve the plans.

A spokesman for the department said: “While we welcome any steps to improve housing affordability in the capital, we are disappointed that the mayor has prematurely announced these proposals without first securing the necessary funding approval from the Government.

“It is vital that we ensure any new schemes offer a good deal for London and the taxpayer, and we have asked the HCA to look further at the detail of this proposal so they can quickly assess whether it should go ahead.” ENDS