The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a special funding programme that will bring 10,000 new homes in the capital over the next four years. In what will be the first ever City Hall programme dedicated to supporting council housing, the funds will be taken from the £1.67 billion Khan secured from the Government in the Spring Statement to help increase dramatically London’s rate of council home building.
“I grew up on a council estate and I know first-hand the vital role social housing plays in London. Council homes for social rent bind our city together, and they have been built thanks to the ambition of London’s councils over many decades,” said Khan.
Back in the 1970s, London councils were supported by central government and built more than 20,000 homes a year; a number that plummeted to almost zero during the 1990s. Figures also show that London council built just 2,100 homes over the last seven years, including the 300 completed last year.
The Mayor is now offering councils the possibility to bid for grant funding at a special rate – a first timer – that will allow them more easily to offer new homes based on social rent levels. The first deals under the programme have been agreed with three councils. Waltham Forest plans to start 525 new council homes with £26 million of funding from City Hall over the next four years, while both Newham and Lewisham have each committed to starting 1,000 new council homes by 2022.
“I am offering councils expertise and resources from City Hall to scale up their homebuilding programmes, and I will help them to replace homes sold through Right to Buy. The Government is failing to enable councils to replace the hundreds of thousands of council homes sold through Right to Buy, and so I will do all I can to help councils replace as many of them as possible,” the Mayor added.