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London mayor publishes plans for 90,000 affordable homes

London mayor publishes plans for 90,000 affordable homes

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has published plans to build 90,000 affordable new homes in the capital.

Mr Khan has unveiled new planning rules designed to quicken the pace of new building, alongside a budget of £3.15 billion to help support the new construction drive. The chief aim is to raise the proportion of new homes built in London that are classed as affordable above the 13 per cent figure seen under Boris Johnson.  

The new rules will now permit investment in low-cost rented housing, unlike the old rules. This means there will be more of a mix of rental homes being built and therefore more affordable dwellings.

Not all the new homes will be for rent, however, with the mix also including owner-occupied and shared-ownership properties. Most of the 90,000 affordable homes will be built by housing associations, with a stipulation that at least 50 per cent of the homes managed by each association should be affordable, a figure that in some cases will rise to 60 per cent.

Among the changes to building regulations is the removal of the protracted viability negotiations of developments containing at least 35 per cent 'affordable' homes.

Mr Khan said: "These announcements today demonstrate real progress on the long road towards fixing London’s housing crisis.

"The record-breaking investment I have agreed with government means we can start building a range of different affordable homes to suit Londoners’ needs. Together with my new planning guidance, we can begin to boost the number of homes built in London and move towards a long-term strategic goal of half of all new homes being genuinely affordable."

Planning and funding alone will not be enough, however. In a densely built-up city, finding space is not easy and the use of any brownfield land that does become available is critical to the success of Mr Khan's quest.

He said public sector land divestment is crucial to this enterprise, highlighting the example of Transport for London, which has already made surplus land available.

Sites already earmarked for affordable new homes include space for a 400-home development at Kidbrooke, Landmark Court in Southwark, and Fenwick South station near Clapham North Underground station.

Image: iStock


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