• Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Sadiq Khan unveils fresh £100m to push affordable housing for Londoners

The mayor Mayor announced the Housing Kickstart Fund to convert market-rate homes on stalled sites into affordable homes to rent and buy.

London mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

By: Twinkle Roy

LONDON mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday (15) unveiled a new £100 million Housing Kickstart Fund aimed at converting market-rate homes on development sites that have been stalled due to economic conditions, into genuinely affordable homes that the people of the capital are urgently seeking. The funding represents fresh resources from City Hall to aid in bolstering housing delivery amidst the current national housing downturn, a press release from the mayor’s office said.

In addition to the new fund, the mayor has committed to leveraging City Hall’s existing funding, expertise, and skills to expedite the construction of homes on brownfield sites. Already, two sites in Newham and Southwark have received a substantial injection of new funding running into multi million pounds, fast-tracking the commencement of 1,450 housing units by March 2026. Notably, 40 per cent of the development will consist of genuinely affordable homes tailored to meet the needs of local residents.

Besides the Housing Kickstart Fund, Khan has also introduced a new Accelerated Funding Route aimed at simplifying the process for developers to achieve over 40 per cent affordable housing on their sites by offering more predictable grant financing.

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Under Khan’s leadership, affordable housing delivery in London has consistently surpassed that of the rest of the country, meeting the government’s flagship affordable housing target, a feat not replicated outside the capital.

Moreover, council house-building has doubled, compared to the rest of the country combined.

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Despite these achievements, Khan has emphasized that much more needs to be done to address London’s long-standing housing crisis. He has collaborated with both public and private developers to advocate for significantly greater action and investment from the government.

These appeals, however, have fallen on deaf ears, even as major developers caution that house-building nationwide could plummet to levels not seen since the Second World War. The mayor has vowed to take proactive measures to enhance the delivery of new homes, prioritizing council and genuinely affordable housing.

“London’s housing crisis was decades in the making and won’t be fixed overnight, but I’m determined to do everything in my power to deliver more council and genuinely affordable homes across the capital,” he said.

“We’ve made important progress, hitting the government’s flagship 116,000 affordable homes target, which was missed outside of London and delivering council homebuilding at double the level of the rest of the country combined.”

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, chair of the G15 group of London’s leading housing associations, said, “More than 175,000 Londoners are homeless and living in temporary accommodation – equivalent to one in 50 residents of the capital. This figure also includes 85,000 children – one child in every London classroom. London boroughs are now spending £90m a month on temporary accommodation, pushing some to the brink of bankruptcy.

“With a crisis of this magnitude we need more housing of all types, but the most acute need is for affordable, preferably social housing.

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