The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new £10 million fund for local authorities in the capital to help them deliver more council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes.
The fund will results in 11,000 new councils homes being built in London over the next four years under the £10 million Home Building Capacity Fund for local authorities to boost their planning and housing teams.
Khan said that over the last eight years, central Government cuts have seen council budgets for planning and development fall by 50% in London and this has held back housing growth, and particularly plans to build new council homes.
The money will help councils to deliver the Mayor’s flagship Building Council Homes for Londoners’ programme, the first ever City Hall programme dedicated specifically to council home building.
Through this, the Mayor agreed plans last year worth more than £1 billion with 27 London boroughs to start building 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels by 2022.
Some 30 London local authorities will receive funding up to £650,000. This can be spent on building a new generation of council homes, including social rented and other genuinely affordable homes, on small sites.
The money can be used for proactive masterplans in areas with significant growth potential, and planning for optimal density across new residential developments in an area.
The successful bids include a project to increase pipeline of council owned land in Ealing, a new Housing Delivery Hub in Newham, and a joint bid between Barnet and Harrow to develop a town centre planning brief.
‘London’s local authorities have seen their budgets slashed year after year through Government cuts. This has hit their services across the board and has severely hampered their ambitions to build more affordable homes,’ Khan said.
‘This funding won’t reverse all those cuts but it will help councils boost their teams to go much further than they otherwise could. We are going as far as we can, and it is now imperative for the Government to give us significantly more investment and greater powers so we can build all the homes Londoners need,’ he added.
Enfield Council Leader Nesil Caliskan explained that his borough, in common with many other areas of London, has a chronic shortage of housing. ‘We are working to increase the supply of genuinely affordable high quality family homes for Enfield residents, help get young people on the housing ladder, and eradicate homelessness,’ he said.
‘This additional funding will help us deliver new homes in the areas where they are most needed and complement our existing house building schemes, our ambitious estate renewal plans and the provision of 10,000 new homes at our flagship Meridian Water development,’ he added.
The Home Building Capacity Fund works alongside other practical support that City Hall is providing to help councils build again, including the new council led Housing Forum, run by Future of London, to provide technical advice to practitioners involved in council led delivery of homes.
The Home Building Capacity Fund is funded through the Business Rates Retention Pilot that saw the capital retain 100 per cent of the increase in business rate receipts above the Government’s baseline during the financial year 2018/2019.
‘The key priority for this administration is to deliver 1,000 council homes at council rent by 2022,’ said Councillor Emina Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Renewal and Deputy Leader of Haringey Council.
‘Despite the housing crisis that is affecting thousands of people across London and the lack of funding that we receive from Central Government, we are doing everything we can to ensure our residents get the homes they deserve. With thousands of people on the waiting list, this funding will give us the capacity to support our housing delivery team and go a long way to helping us deliver these homes,’ she added.