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London Mayor doubles council housebuilding target to 20,000 new homes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today doubled his stretching council housebuilding target, supporting councils to start work on 20,000 new council homes by 2024.

It marks a dramatic acceleration in action and ambition, after the Mayor smashed the previous target to start 10,000 new City Hall-funded council homes by the end of 2021/22 earlier this year. Sadiq now aims to start a further 10,000 homes in a significantly shorter time – a total of 20,000 new City Hall-backed council homes by 2024.

It will also continue the renaissance in council homebuilding achieved under Sadiq’s mayoralty, with more council homes started last year than any year since the 1970’s.

This turnaround in council building has been driven by initiatives such as the Mayor’s landmark £1bn Building Council Homes for Londoners grant funding programme, his Homebuilding Capacity Fund, and his Right to Buy-back programme, all of which have supported boroughs to turbo-charge delivery after generations of decline.

All but three of London’s councils have active housebuilding programmes in partnership with City Hall. Last year, Southwark led the way with 878 starts, followed by Havering (593), Barking and Dagenham (424) and Newham (410). Bromley, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston upon Thames and Sutton all started building City Hall-funded council homes for the first time last year. Londoners can now for the first time find out how many new homes are being built in their area by using the Mayor’s new digital tool

The Mayor is determined to not only get more council homes built, but to make this generation of council homes the best ever built, with cutting-edge design, quality and environmental standards. Under his new 2021-26 Affordable Homes Programme, over half of the programme’s social rented homes will be built by councils, and to be eligible for funding, new council homes must meet leading environmental standards to help tackle the climate emergency. All developments of 10 or more homes must be net zero-carbon and incorporate sustainable urban green spaces.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “There’s no quick fix to London’s housing crisis, but we’re taking some big steps in the right direction by backing a renaissance in council homebuilding.

“I’m proud that we’re reversing the decades of decline in council homebuilding and that last year, more council homes were started than in any year since the 1970’s, but I’m determined to go even further. That’s why today I’ve set an ambitious unprecedented new council housebuilding target, pledging to start 20,000 new council homes by 2024.

“In London today, we’re not just building more council homes, we’re building better too. The new generation of council homes are some of the best that have ever been built: modern, sustainable and fit for the 21st century. These new homes form a key part of building a better London for everyone – one that is greener, fairer and more prosperous for all.”