Major council homebuilding boost in London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced a major boost to London councils in their plans to get building again with his new programme to help get 10,000 new council homes underway over the next four years.

Khan is using funds from the £1.67 billion secured from government in the Spring Statement to help support London’s councils to dramatically increase the rate of council homebuilding in the capital. Under current restraints, the capital’s councils are able to contribute less than two per cent of London’s new homes per year. London councils built 2,100 homes over the last seven years, including 300 that were completed last year.‎

As part of the plans, Khan is offering councils the opportunity to bid for grant funding at a special rate which will allow them more easily to offer new homes based on social rent levels.

The Mayor of London has also announced that the leaders of Waltham Forest, Lewisham and Newham have agreed new deals: 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.

Khan said: “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.

“I am proud to launch Building Council Homes for Londoners – the first ever City Hall programme dedicated to new council housing. I want to help councils get back to building homes for Londoners again. 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.”