Sadiq Khan doubles council housebuilding target

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has pledged to double his council housebuilding target to start work on 20,000 new council homes by 2024.

Khan’s ambitious new target - which is supported by City Hall - indicates urgency as it is expected to be carried out in a notably shorter time than his last one, which he surpassed earlier this year.

Starting in 2018, the mayor’s previous council homebuilding target entailed backing boroughs to start building 10,000 council homes by 2022 and, although it was extended to 2023, it was fulfilled by March 2022.

“There’s no quick fix to London’s housing crisis, but we’re taking some big steps in the right direction by backing a renaissance in council homebuilding,” said Khan.

“I’m proud that we’re reversing the decades of decline in council homebuilding and that last year, more council homes were started than in any year since the 1970s — but I’m determined to go even further.”

Khan added it was not just about building more council homes, but constructing better ones, describing the latest properties as some of the best ever built.

He said the new homes were contemporary, sustainable and suitable for the 21st century, and they were integral to creating a “greener, fairer and more prosperous” London for everyone.

Additionally, for the first time, Londoners can check how many new homes are being built in their area by using a new digital tool.

This turnaround in council homebuilding has been possible thanks to initiatives like the mayor’s landmark £1bn Building Council Homes for Londoners grant funding programme, the Homebuilding Capacity Fund, and his Right to Buy-back scheme.

Except for three, all of London’s councils have active housebuilding programmes in partnership with City Hall.

Last year, Southwark led the way with 878 starts, then came Havering (593), followed by Barking and Dagenham (424) and Newham (410).

The same year also saw Bromley, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kingston upon Thames and Sutton all starting to build City Hall-funded council homes for the first time.

To be eligible for funding, new council homes must meet leading environmental standards to help combat climate change, and all developments of 10 or more homes must be net-zero carbon and include urban green spaces.


Leave a comment