The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled plans to help get 10,000 new council homes underway over the next four years.
In what will be the first ever City Hall programme dedicated to supporting council housing, Sadiq is using funds from the £1.67bn he secured from government in the Spring Statement to help support London’s councils to increase dramatically the rate of council homebuilding in the capital.
The Mayor today welcomed the first deals struck under Building Council Homes for Londoners with Waltham Forest council leader, Councillor Clare Coghill, the new Mayor of Lewisham, Damien Egan and Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz. Waltham Forest plans to start 525 new council homes with £26m of funding from City Hall over the next four years, while both Newham and Lewisham have each committed to starting 1,000 new council homes by 2022.
As part of Building Council Homes for Londoners, Sadiq has criticised the government for failing to give councils the freedoms they need to ensure all those homes sold under Right to Buy rules are replaced. His programme offers councils an innovative way to ringfence their Right to Buy receipts to help them build new homes to replace those sold in the local area.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I grew up on a council estate and I know first-hand the vital role social housing plays in London. Council homes for social rent bind our city together, and they have been built thanks to the ambition of London’s councils over many decades.
“Back in the 1970s, when I was growing up, London councils built thousands of social homes, providing homes for families and generations of Londoners. But the government has turned its back on local authorities, severely hampering their ambition to build by cutting funding and imposing arbitrary restrictions on borrowing.
“I am offering councils expertise and resources from City Hall to scale up their homebuilding programmes, and I will help them to replace homes sold through Right to Buy. The government is failing to enable councils to replace the hundreds of thousands of council homes sold through Right to Buy, and so I will do all I can to help councils replace as many of them as possible.”
Building Council Homes for Londoners will support councils to enhance their capacity to deliver large-scale new-build programmes with skills, expertise and resources from City Hall. The Mayor also continues to lobby the government to help London’s councils access increased borrowing limits from central government and providing them with greater flexibility.