The localisation of business rates in London in 2019 provides the opportunity for local authorities to think differently about how they work together and how and with whom they deliver the homes that are needed in the Capital.
That was the conclusion of a Chatham House roundtable with a group of London housing Chiefs hosted by Altair.
Despite the anger at the ‘forced’ assets sale and the deal that had been done between housing associations and the government without consulting local authorities, those at the roundtable were keen to ensure that receipts generated in London stayed in London.
Many were interested in Registered Providers coming to them with proposals to spend local authority right to buy receipts on rented schemes, before they were lost to the Capital. Such receipts were also seen as a way of ensuring mixed tenure schemes for the future, matching local authority and GLA funding and the Housing Associations own resources.
‘There is an opportunity for housing associations to re-build bridges with local authority colleagues’ said Chris Wood, Partner at Altair and a former Local Authority Chief Executive. ‘Our round table confirmed that there is an appetite for local authorities to do more and a willingness to be creative’.
‘They want housing associations and developers to be working alongside them, seeing this as an opportunity to work more closely together’. He added.
A number of leading housing figures from London’s Local Authorities joined Altair at its Tempus Wharf offices for a roundtable discussion last week. Discussions focused on the ways local authorities can deal with the changes to housing policy and challenges around welfare reform, right to buy, pay to stay and the sale of high vale council assets.
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