London is to get an extra 50,000 affordable homes to rent and buy over the next four years in a deal announced by the Mayor of London as part of a record breaking £3.15 billion housing fund.
The £1.7 billion deal with councils and housing association will result in new homes being built across the city in all 32 boroughs delivered by 44 housing providers including nine local authorities and large and small affordable housing associations.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan described it as a ground breaking deal that has the firm backing of the housing industry with 17,500 homes for rent and just under 32,000 for a combination of the Mayor’s new London Living Rent and Shared Ownership schemes.
London Living Rent is a new type of tenancy Khan introduced last year to help middle income earners in the capital save for a deposit to move into shared ownership by offering them rents based on one third of average local gross household incomes.
Housing associations are being given the flexibility to swap homes between London Living Rent and Shared Ownership depending on local circumstances when homes are completed.
Sites have already been identified and bought for almost half the 50,000 homes, meaning delivery can get underway immediately, with the major housing associations committing themselves to working with City Hall to bring forward land for the remaining homes allocated.
‘I want to see everyone playing their part in tackling the housing crisis in London, because it is simply unacceptable that Londoners continue to be priced out of a city they call home,’ said Khan.
‘We know that solving the housing crisis is not going to happen overnight, but I very much welcome so many housing associations and councils matching my ambition by committing to build the new and genuinely affordable homes Londoners so desperately need,’ he explained.
‘I am delighted that we have set a City Hall record for the number of homes allocated funding but I am clear that we have got much more to do to secure the land we need to build homes and ensure we have sufficient capacity in the construction industry,’ he added.
Paul Hackett, chair of the G15, representing London’s largest housing associations, pointed out that the commitment from London’s housing associations is an unprecedented level of ambition to build new homes.
‘The partnership with the Mayor is the biggest London’s housing associations have ever committed to, reflecting the urgency of the housing crisis and our strong relationship with City Hall,’ he said.
Graeme Brown, interim chief executive at Shelter, said: ‘Millions of families across the country are suffering at the hands of our housing crisis, but the situation is absolutely critical in the capital.
All homes will be built to the highest standards and expected to meet the design and sustainability standards set out in the London Plan. Like all new buildings in London, they must meet stringent safety standards set by the Government.
It was announced that measures will include means of warning and escape, sprinklers, fire detection and fire alarm systems. The Mayor will be setting out what more he can do in terms of fire safety when he publishes his new London Plan later this year.
City Hall has allocations for about 30,000 homes in place from bids made prior to the current round, and there remains a further £446 million available for when bidding re-opens later this year. Together with those homes announced today, these allocations will all contribute to the Mayor’s ambitious target of starting 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021.