London

Sadiq Khan: Londoners to get 'first dibs' in proposed shared ownership scheme

Sadiq Khan
Image caption Both Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith have said housing is the "most important issue" in the election

The Labour candidate for London's mayoral election has said he plans to roll-out a shared ownership scheme with Londoners getting "first dibs".

Sadiq Khan said he would offer potential owners the chance to buy 25-75% of a property with the rest paid off in rent.

Earlier he announced 50% of new housing built on public land would be designated as affordable if elected.

But Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith called the plans "fantasy".

Mr Khan said he wanted to utilise such land for shared-ownership properties which would enable him to control the level of rent making it as little as £400 a month with an average deposit of £5,200 in outer London.

Image caption Zac Goldsmith launched his plan for London two weeks ago

The Mayor's office recently revealed 400 acres of land had been sold which would deliver 50,000 new homes, 31% classed as affordable.

But Mr Khan said that was not enough, calling it "wasteful" and warned that Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith would "be exactly the same".

He said: "I'll build genuinely affordable homes in every London borough. I'll offer a lifeline to Londoners who are fed up with wasting 'dead money' on rent - by bringing home ownership back within reach.

"I'll cut the cost of buying and give renters first dibs."

But Mr Goldsmith said: "The reality of Khan's fantasy plans is that 50% of nothing is still nothing...building in London will grind to a halt."

Mr Goldsmith has also pledged to build on London's "vast tracts of publicly owned brownfield land" and also promised to build 50,000 homes a year "affordable to people across the income spectrum".

A register of public land recently found 40,000 sites in London could be developed delivering 130,000 homes.

London School of Economics housing economist Christine Whitehead said the construction of more homes was "going slowly" and said there was a major problem with "large sites which took forever to deliver".

Professor Tony Travers, director of LSE London, said "any politician would struggle to increase house-building" especially social and affordable housing, as developers were expected to provide transport links and social housing taxpayers could not pay for.

Both Mr Goldsmith and Mr Khan have said housing is the "most important issue" in the mayoral election.

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