Council homebuilding in London reaches 42-year high

Construction began on more council homes in London last year than in the rest of the country combined, according to new government data.

In the 2021/2022 financial year, a total of 5,494 council homes were started in London, while 4,325 council homes were started in the rest of England.

The figures represent the highest level of new council homebuilding since 1979, which saw 9,128 new starts.

The London Borough of Southwark led the way last year with 895 starts – making it one of 12 councils which achieved over 200 new starts.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “There’s no quick fix to London’s housing crisis, but we’re taking significant steps in the right direction by backing a new renaissance in council homebuilding.

“In London today, we’re not just building more council homes, we’re building better homes too. The new generation of council homes are some of the best that have ever been built: modern, sustainable and fit for the 21st century.

“These new homes form a key part of building a better London for everyone – one that is greener, fairer, and more prosperous for all.

“But the headwinds from recent economic chaos, combined with the effects of the pandemic, Brexit, the soaring cost of construction materials and rising inflation are hitting housebuilders hard and making housing delivery increasingly challenging.

“That’s why I am urging ministers to provide additional funding so I can continue to deliver the good quality and genuinely affordable homes that Londoners desperately need.”

Kieron Williams, leader of Southwark Council, added “With the cost of living soaring, now more than ever, we need more council homes in our city.

“I’m delighted that we were able to start another 895 in Southwark last year, thanks to support from the Mayor, alongside our own council investment.

“Achieving the most starts in London has been far from easy given the tidal wave of challenges facing the construction industry.

“What worries me now is those challenges are only getting harder as the national housing crisis deepens and construction costs spiral.

“Having such a strong partnership between the Mayor and councils is making a real difference, but we urgently need the government to get serious about solving the housing crisis too.”


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