John Rowan and Partners support open letter to the Secretary of State
As a construction consultancy heavily involved in regenerating and delivering affordable housing across London for the past 37 years, we wholeheartedly support the open letter sent by the Mayor of London, London Councils and the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
The letter warns of the potentially catastrophic effects that a ‘no deal’ Brexit could have on affordable housing delivery. An issue that following the PM’s commons defeat on Tuesday we still have no further clarity on.
With or without the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, delivering much needed housing in London has always been a huge challenge. But we believe that the continued uncertainty around Brexit will further stagnate the market, reduce the number of developments commissioned and frustrate lending and investment for those organisations keen to push forward.
As stated in the open letter, the social housing issue transcends London. The latest report from homelessness and housing charity Shelter calls on the Government to deliver 3.1 million more social homes over the next 20 years, in order to provide housing security for older private renters, those in need and over 1.2 million young families who currently face a lifetime of insecure private renting.
In short, the housing sector is already in dire need of a return to grant funding and better incentives, but if we were to lose the ability to borrow or cross-subsidise through a reduction in private development sales, the sector could easily grind to a halt – a position that would not only be detrimental for the delivery of homes but for the thousands of companies and workers within the construction industry and housing sector.
The government must acknowledge the seriousness of the situation if we have any hope of achieving national house building targets.