Home Residential PropertyNew Build London delivering twice as many council homes as the rest of the country combined

London delivering twice as many council homes as the rest of the country combined

by LLP Reporter
3rd Jan 24 12:16 pm

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has today reaffirmed his commitment to delivering the council homes Londoners so desperately need, after new Government statistics revealed an average of 89 council homes a week have been started in the capital between his election in May 2016 and the end of the last financial year.

The figures show that last year, local authorities in London started building twice as many council homes than the rest of the country combined, with nearly 11,000 new council homes started in 2022/23.

Today the Mayor has urged the Government ‘not to completely give up on council housing’ as a vital way of delivering affordable homes, labelling the national figures ‘appalling’.

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Under the Mayor’s leadership and thanks to the efforts of boroughs, London has entered a golden era of council housebuilding. Since 2016, more than 32,000 council homes have been started in London, with 23,000 directly funded by City Hall. This compares to just 3,520 council homes started in London in the entire decade before Sadiq become Mayor.

Since Sadiq took office in 2016, London has started work on nearly 5,000 more council homes when compared to other parts of England.

Housing completions are 20 per cent higher in London than the rest of the country and London has completed more homes of all types in recent years than at any time since the 1930, including delivering higher council homebuilding than at any time since the 1970s – more than the rest of the country combined.

This turnaround in council delivery has been driven by initiatives such as the Mayor’s landmark Building Council Homes for Londoners grant funding programme, his Homebuilding Capacity Fund, allowing boroughs to increase their ability to build after a generation of decline and the new Council Homes Acquisition Programme (CHAP), giving boroughs the resources to boost their housing supplies by buying homes from the private market. Council homes are now being built in every London borough.

In May 2023, Sadiq met the hugely ambitious affordable homebuilding target of starting 116,000 homes, set under the Government’s 2016-23 Affordable Homes Programme, while Ministers missed their own target by nearly 6,500. This included over 25,000 delivered by councils. Nationally, Ministers have failed to meet their targets and the Mayor has continued to call for unallocated funding to be given to London to spend in order to meet the aim of 10,000 council homes being purchased in the next decade and address growing demand for genuinely affordable homes.

Housing experts have warned of a major decline in housebuilding across the country, driven by high interest rates, building cost inflation and a lack of leadership from the Government.

In November, the Mayor and leaders from across London’s housebuilding sector delivered a new blueprint for action on housebuilding to boost the supply of new homes. The blueprint included 29 recommendations for the Government to ensure the long-term viability of the capital’s housebuilding sector – with measures including boosting council homebuilding, scrapping the proposed new ‘Infrastructure Levy’ and removing the uncertainty caused by a lack of clarity on fire safety rules around second staircases on taller buildings, which are holding up developments.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “I am proud of the hard work and ambition shown by City Hall, boroughs and our housing partners to create a new golden era of council housing in the capital.

“We inherited a city where council homebuilding was nearly extinct and many believed it couldn’t be revived. We have proven them wrong and are now reversing the years of decline. Every new home we deliver, whether that is funded by City Hall or boroughs, is another London family given the secure, long term home they deserve.

“In contrast, the national figures for council homes are truly appalling. Today I’m urging the Government not to completely give up on council housing as a vital way of delivering affordable homes.”

“I grew up on a council estate, so I know the vital role council homes play in providing security for families. I’m determined that we continue to do all we can to build on the success of recent years, empower councils and work with all those involved in building new council homes, so we build a safer, fairer, greener and more prosperous city for all Londoners.”

Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said: “It’s the housing policy failures of central government and their cost of living crisis which has led to the unprecedented housing crisis facing the capital; that the Mayor of London is tackling head on. Through a raft of measures, including the Building Council Homes for Londoners programme, families in Newham are reaping the benefits with access to council homes they can afford.

“Through grant funding from the GLA, we’ve been able to reboot council housing in Newham with 1275 homes being started over the past 5 years and over 1000 more council homes to come.

“Our track record shows how our collaboration with the London Mayor and GLA is putting councils at the forefront of housing delivery in the capital once again. Londoners are crying out for desperately needed and genuinely affordable homes. That’s why central government needs to turbo-charge Council-led house building in the capital by giving the Mayor of London the unallocated money to deliver 10,000 council homes in the coming decade.”

Cllr Helen Dennis, Cabinet Member for New Homes and Sustainable Development at Southwark Council said, “Having a decent home is foundational. That’s why we’ve prioritised building genuinely affordable homes in Southwark, and we are proud to have the Mayor’s support for our ambitious council homes building programme.

“Mayor of London grants have helped us to start building over three thousand new council homes across our borough. These homes are desperately needed, and we know that our collective success in providing new council homes will transform the lives of our residents for generations to come.”

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