The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today warned the Government that they need to do far more to fix the housing crisis across the UK as he agreed plans worth more than £1 billion with 26 London boroughs to build 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels over the next four years.
The plans form the cornerstone of ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ – the first-ever City Hall programme dedicated to council homebuilding.
When Sadiq launched the programme in May, it set a target for 10,000 new homes – and today he has responded to overwhelming interest from boroughs by agreeing allocations for 11,154 new council homes at social rent levels, and a further 3,570 other homes, including those for London Living Rent.
Council homebuilding fell to nearly zero in the 1990s, and many councils’ ambition has been held back by a lack of resources and rigid limits on their powers and borrowing. To help them boost their homebuilding plans, Sadiq is offering councils more funding – that he secured from Government for social rent earlier this year. He is also offering support, including an innovative way to help them reinvest their receipts from homes sold under Right to Buy.
Today’s plans will see councils increase their building rates over the next four years to a total estimated at five times greater than over the previous four years. Sadiq made clear the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that councils would be allowed to borrow more will not fix the housing crisis – and said the capital needs an estimated £2.7 billion per year to build all the council, social rented, and other genuinely affordable homes Londoners desperately need.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making. There is no simple fix – but council housing is the most important part of the solution. Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.