Mayor gives a grant of £99,000,000 as part of London-wide funding of a billion pounds
The Southall Waterside development
An extra 1,138 new Council homes could be built in the London Borough of Ealing due to a grant being given by the Mayor of London made possible by funding given by central Government.
Sadiq Khan’s ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ is an initiative in which financial support is being given to local authorities across the capital to support the building of more homes that will be available at social rent levels.
Ealing has received one of the largest grants of the 26 London Boroughs who were given funding with only Newham getting more money in the billion pound London-wide grant. Even though Ealing got less funding overall than Newham, the number of homes that will be built will be larger.
Local London Assembly Member, Onkar Sahota AM, said, “With too many local families priced out of the housing market and stuck in temporary accommodation, it has always been of the utmost priority that we get to grips with the housing crisis as a matter of urgency.
“The Government have sat on their hands when it comes to council homebuilding, which fell flat during the 1990s.
“However, we now have an opportunity with this funding to kickstart an ambitious new building programme and provide the next generation of homes for social rent that our community desperately needs.
”This could be boosted further if the Government provides the extra £2 billion of funding needed per year to cover the full-scale of the demand for all types of genuinely affordable housing in London”.
Overall the funding is expected to result in the delivery of more than 11,000 new homes at social rent levels over the next four year. In addition there would be a further 3,570 other homes, including those for London Living Rent. ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ is the first-ever City Hall programme dedicated to council homebuilding. When the Mayor launched the programme in May, it set a target for 10,000 new homes – and due to high levels of interest from boroughs allocations for 11,154 new council homes have been agreed.
Council homebuilding fell to nearly zero in the 1990s, and many councils’ ambition to provide more homes has been held back by a lack of resources and rigid limits on their powers and borrowing. To help them boost their homebuilding plans, the Mayor says he 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.
The plans announced this Tuesday (23 October) 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.
The Mayor has said that 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 required in 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.
“Today, City Hall is using money we secured from Government to help councils go much further. It is welcome that the Prime Minister has recently listened to calls that I and others have long made for councils to be able to borrow more to build. But let me be clear: lifting the borrowing cap for councils must be just the first step of reform, not the last.
“We need at least four times the amount of money we currently get from Government for new social and affordable homes, and we need far greater powers to step in and buy land for new council housing. The scale of what I have announced today shows the ambition is there in London to build a new generation of council homes – Ministers now urgently need to step up and go the distance too.”
In addition to funding, the Building Council Homes for Londoners programme offers boroughs an innovative way to ringfence their Right to Buy receipts to invest in new homes, alongside expertise and resources from City Hall to increase the size of their homebuilding programmes. It sits alongside the Homebuilding Capacity Fund, announced Friday 19 October, a £10 million fund which allows boroughs to bid for up to £750,000 each to help boost their housing and planning teams.
Ealing Council were asked for comment.
October 23, 2018