London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s recent deals with Housing Associations and Councils to build 50,000 more affordable homes to buy and rent over the next four years are truly commendable, as they are critical to resolving the housing crisis.
The announcement by the Mayor’s office for an estimated £1.7bn investment in 49,398 genuinely affordable homes in all 32 boroughs and the City of London to be delivered by 44 housing providers and nine London councils is a heartening development and a welcome initiative. For, the Mayor is delivering as promised to Londoners to make housing affordable.
London needs genuine schemes to deliver such homes to Londoners. Of the total planned houses, 17,500 will be for rents around social levels, and just under 32,000 will be for a combination of the Mayor’s new London Living Rent and Shared Ownership.
It is impressive that Housing associations and councils made the commitment in response to the Mayor’s first call for bids to the record-breaking £3.15bn affordable homes fund he secured from the government in November last year. The deal represents almost treble the 18,000 homes secured by the final call for bids issued by the previous Mayor in 2014.
Taking cue from the Mayor’s initiatives, the private sector should evolve business models to offer houses at lower capital values for first-time buyers in London. Strawberry Star is already working in this direction.
Record £1.7bn deal between City Hall and London’s councils and housing associations