Given the crisis we are facing in housing in the UK generally but London in particular, it is indeed good news that the Mayor of London has announced he is setting up a Mayoral Housing Investment Taskforce.
The group is to be charged with assessing the ramifications of the Spending Review and the likelihood of severe reductions in the affordable house building programme post-2012.
The taskforce is to explore alternative forms of housing finance for affordable housing delivery, the delivery of major regeneration, and the maintenance of the supply of new housing through the period of deficit reduction.
It will also look at developing alternative models, which move away from the current government grant model, that may enable delivery of affordable housing and regeneration, as well as exploring how to lever in private finance.
The taskforce will be chaired by Peter Rogers of the LDA, and will have the glittering array of David Montague of L&Q, Nigel Hugill of Centre for Cities, Richard Parker of PWC, Richard Capie of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Nick Salisbury of Barclays, Nick Jopling of Grainger, Kevin Ramson of Rothschilds, Leon Clifton of Capco, Richard Blakeway of the GLA, Stephen Bullock representing London Councils and David Lunts of the HCA as its members.
And it will report in three months.
Now, putting to one side that this is a very high powered set of individuals with a lot of brain power who we are lucky to have consider these issues; and putting to one side that many of these are personal friends and close colleagues of mine; and putting to one side that this group looks suspiciously like the old HCA Steering Group on the PRSI (Private Rented Sector Initiative), dear reader, do you not see a glaring problem with all this?