Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that local authorities, suffering from years of government cuts, will receive a share of his new £10m fund to help deliver more council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes.
Over the last eight years, central government cuts have seen council budgets for planning and development slashed by 50% in London. This has held back housing growth, and particularly plans to build new council homes.
Sadiq’s new £10m Homebuilding Capacity Fund aims to plug some of that gap by funding local authorities to boost their planning and housing teams.
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 homebuilding. Through this, the Mayor agreed plans last year worth more than £1b with 27 London boroughs to start building 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels by 2022.
Thirty London local authorities will receive funding up to £650,000. This can be spent on delivering:
• Building a new generation of council homes
• Building more homes, including social rented and other genuinely affordable homes, on small sites
• Proactive masterplans in areas with significant growth potential
• 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.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “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.
“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.”
Enfield Council Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, commented: “Enfield, in common with many other areas of London, has a chronic shortage of housing and 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.
“This additional funding will help us deliver new homes in the areas where they are most needed and complement our existing housebuilding schemes, our ambitious estate renewal plans and the provision of 10,000 new homes at our flagship Meridian Water development.”
Cllr Simon Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, said: “We are delighted to receive funding from the Mayor’s Home Building Capacity Fund as we continue to work to provide a decent roof over all our residents’ heads. This year we celebrate 100 years of council housing in the UK — this funding will help us to really boost our direct housing delivery programme, the most ambitious council housebuilding programme seen in Waltham Forest for a generation. It will allow us to plan strategically for good inclusive growth, in line with the Mayor’s London Plan.
“I’m delighted that this will also enable us to invest in the next generation of talent to help us build the homes we so desperately need. Our east London partnership bid will help train local people in the construction and development industry, making the most of our fantastic construction and skills centre in Leyton and giving them the skills they need to succeed and make the most of their life chances.”
Councillor Emina Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Renewal and Deputy Leader of Haringey Council, added: “The key priority for this administration is to deliver 1,000 council homes at council rent by 2022. 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.”