City Hall’s first ever programme devoted to council homebuilding; ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ will see more than 11,000 new homes at social rent levels.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan predicts that lifting the borrowing cap on property build spending on it own will not fix the housing crisis. He said that councils still require more funding and powers to meet needs.
Sadiq has now agreed plans worth more than £1 billion with 26 London boroughs to build 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels over the next four years. Plus, a further 3,570 other homes, including those for London Living Rent.
In the 90’s home-building almost fell to zero with little to no resources and high limits on what councils could borrow. With the funding and support now being offered ambitions can be restored. Funding will also include innovative ways that homes under Right to Buy can reinvest their receipts.
Building rates will be increased over the next 4 years. This will be an estimated five times greater than over the last four years.
Sadiq said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making. There is no simple fix – but council housing is the most important part of the solution. Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.
“Today, City Hall is using money we secured from Government to help councils go much further. It is welcome that the Prime Minister has recently listened to calls that I and others have long made for councils to be able to borrow more to build. But let me be clear: lifting the borrowing cap for councils must be just the first step of reform, not the last.
“We need at least four times the amount of money we currently get from Government for new social and affordable homes, and we need far greater powers to step in and buy land for new council housing. The scale of what I have announced today shows the ambition is there in London to build a new generation of council homes – Ministers now urgently need to step up and go the distance too.”
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “I am very happy our bid for £107 million of funding from the Mayor of London has been successful. This funding will kick-start our ambitious housing programme, which will see the construction of more than 1,000 quality homes across 40 sites in Newham started by 2022, and available at London Affordable Rent.
“Newham residents are at the forefront of the housing crisis. Too many families are desperately in need of a sustainable home they can genuinely afford. We have over 27,000 households on our housing waiting list and more than 4,800 households in temporary accommodation. This is why I have committed to build over 1,000 new council homes at social rent levels over the next four years. Only through a massive council housebuilding programme can we begin to address the scale of this challenge.
“Since becoming Mayor I have been working closely with both Sadiq Khan and his Deputy Mayor for Housing James Murray to find a solution to the capital’s housing crisis. Collaborative working is essential to tackle the issues which face so many people in London. I am excited about what this announcement means for Newham and to start work to build hundreds of desperately needed new homes.”
More about the UK-wide Property build funding lift here
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