LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan is offer London boroughs the funding to start building 10,000 new council homes over the next four years. The London mayor has unveiled a £1.67 billion programme, Building Council Homes for Londoners, which aims to boost the number of local authority homes in the capital.
The programme will offer expertise and funding to London boroughs to scale up their home-building programmes.
It will also offer councils help to replace homes sold through Right to Buy with an innovative way to ringfence receipts. The controversial Right to Buy programme was introduced in 1980 and, according to Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government figures, it has resulted in 306,000 social homes sold by councils in London since 1980.
During the same period, councils have built only 62,000 homes at social rent – equivalent to just one in five of those homes sold being replaced.
Under Mr Khan’s scheme, councils will be given the chance to bid for grant funding at a special rate, which City Hall hopes will allow them to more easily offer new homes based on social rent levels.
The initiative will also allow councils to ringfence their Right to Buy receipts to help them build homes to replace those sold in the local area.
Mr Khan’s programme will also include City Hall supporting councils with skills, expertise and resources.
London councils have built just 2,100 homes over the last seven years, according to the mayor’s office.
Mr Khan said: “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.”
London Assembly Housing Committee chair Sian Berry called the mayor’s move as a “step in the right direction to help solve London’s housing crisis”.