London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed Lyn Garner to oversee the capital’s housing delivery on land the authority owns.
Ms Garner will offer strategic oversight on building new homes on Greater London Authority Group, GLA Group, land which includes Transport for London and the London Fire Brigade.
“There’s huge potential and a genuine commitment among all involved to use our landholdings to tackle London’s housing crisis,” said Ms Garner who will continue as London Legacy Development Corporation chief executive.
Her appointment follows the publication in February of Lord Bob Kerslake’s review into the GLA Group which recommended greater collaboration across teams within the organisation. It also called for more partnerships with London’s wider property development sector plus a more unified approach to small sites.
The review advised Mr Khan to hold fire until the next mayoral term on his 2021 manifesto pledge to set up a city hall developer.
“It’s vital we maximise the number of genuinely affordable homes built on land owned by the GLA Group. Lyn Garner is well placed to coordinate the changes required to improve collaboration and speed up the delivery of much-needed homes for Londoners,” said Mr Khan.
High proportion of new homes must be affordable
Since 2016, the group has started construction on more than 17,000 homes on GLA land of which 6,000 were affordable.
The number of new homes completed in London reached a record high in 2019-20 followed by a dip in 2020 due to the pandemic, planning delays, labour shortages and material costs.
The GLA has calculated London needs 66,000 new homes a year, of which half should be affordable, with the Mr Khan setting a target of 52,000 new homes a year in the 2021 London plan.
Property development finance intermediary Hank Zarihs Associates said that development finance lenders would like to see the small sites service offer resources to support bidding rounds.