The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has called on the Government to put political differences aside and start negotiations for “significantly more investment” to build thousands of genuinely affordable homes in London, with a focus on new council and social housing.
With funding negotiations between City Hall and Government for the new Affordable Homes Programme covering the next five years (2021/22-25/26) to begin soon, Sadiq has seized the initiative by setting out what is needed from ministers to deliver genuinely affordable homes on a scale which matches both London’s needs and ambitions.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick, the Mayor sets out the scale of the housing crisis London faces – which has been worsened by Covid-19 – and reminds the Secretary of State of his impressive home-building record, including starting building more new council homes than in any year since 1983.
As well as record-breaking progress on new homes, the Mayor has rejected the Government’s definition of ‘affordable rent’, which is priced at up to 80 per cent of market rents.
The Mayor also sets out the evidence for what is required to address London’s housing crisis: joint research between the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the G15 group of large London housing associations found that the Government needs to provide £4.9 billion per year over ten years to deliver homes on the scale required. This is seven times more than the Government currently gives the capital.
The Mayor warns the Government that the challenge of coronavirus reinforces the need for a bold funding settlement to protect jobs and kick-start London’s economy.