The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced that he will support councils to build 10,000 new council homes over the next four years with special funding from a £1.67bn pot.
This is understood to be the first programme from City Hall which focuses specifically on council housing and replacing the housing stock lost through Right to Buy disposals. Building Council Homes for Londoners includes a pledge to start building at least 10,000 new council and Right to Buy replacement homes by 2022.
This announcement follows the Mayor’s commitment to offer first dibs on new homes to Londoners which was revealed in February and analysed by the Devonshires team. And like the first dibs policy, this sounds good in theory but raises several questions:
- How will the GLA, working with central government, ensure Councils are recompensed for Right to Buy disposals?
- Councils haven’t built on this scale for decades, so wouldn’t the GLA be better offering this up to housing associations and other organisations to deliver affordable housing?
- This is only a commitment to start building, so could modular housing deliver the same results, quickly, bringing build costs down?
The announcement is however, well timed as has come right in the middle of New Homes Week, an initiative aimed at increasing awareness of new homes, and how they can benefit people.
There are a number of advice sessions running this week to help answer people’s questions on topics ranging from meeting the builders and planners, to mapping out the new build experience.
Although it remains to be seen how exactly, the Mayor’s proposals will be implemented, one thing that can’t be questioned, is his commitment to boosting supply in the capital and providing new homes for everyone.
For further information on the potential impact of the Mayor’s proposals, please contact our Real Estate & Projects Team.