• Sunday, April 21, 2024

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Khan unveils £100m fund to revive stalled housing projects

The objective of the £100m Housing Kickstart Fund is to revive housing schemes in London that have been stalled due to economic challenges

London mayor Sadiq Khan (Anna Gordon/REUTERS/File Photo)

By: Shajil Kumar

London mayor Sadiq Khan has unveiled a £100m Housing Kickstart Fund that will provide grants to housing firms to convert market-rate homes stalled due to economic downturn into affordable homes.

The new money will be made available from recycled capital grant funding, which is money returned to the Greater London Authority GLA by housing providers.

Along with this fund, the mayor has announced a new Accelerated Funding Route, to make it simpler for developers to achieve over 40 per cent of affordable homes on their sites.

This will simplify the methodology to help councils and housing associations calculate how much grants could be applied to execute the projects.

The mayor also plans to utilise City Hall’s existing funding, skills and experience to accelerate the building of homes on brownfield sites. Two sites, in Newham and Southwark, are already benefiting from this new funding.

Nearly 1,450 homes will be delivered by March 2026, and 40 per cent of them will be in the affordable segment.

During Khan’s tenure, affordable housing delivery in London has outpaced the rest of the country, and achieved the Government’s target of 116,000 affordable homes.

However, the mayor feels much more needs to be done to fix the city’s decades-long housing crisis.

“London’s housing crisis was decades in the making and won’t be fixed overnight, but I’m determined to do everything in my power to deliver more council and genuinely affordable homes across the capital,” he said.

The housing sector in the UK is going through a downturn, with major developers warning that housebuilding may fall to the lowest level since the Second World War.

Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Chair of the G15, a group of London’s leading housing associations, said: “More than 175,000 Londoners are homeless and living in temporary accommodation – equivalent to one in 50 residents of the capital.” Hence there is an acute need for affordable housing, she added.

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