Sadiq Khan announces affordable housing fund allocations, with emphasis on social rent

Sadiq Khan announces affordable housing fund allocations, with emphasis on social rent

Sadiq Khan has distributed the bulk of his most recent affordable housing funds from national government to London housing providers, with an emphasis on building new homes for social rent.

Councils and housing associations have received shares of £3.46 billion from the Mayor, a figure which accounts for most of the £4 billion City Hall received from the government last year for the Mayor’s latest five-year affordable homes programme (2021-2026).

The money will go towards the cost of starting work on 29,456 new dwellings, of which around 16,800 will be for rent at social rent levels. Roughly half will be supplied by London councils and half by housing associations.

The rest of the 29,456 will be low cost home ownership housing designed for middle-income households – either Shared Ownership or London Living Rent tenures.

The Mayor’s housing team negotiated greater scope for using the latest government funding for social rented homes compared with the previous two allocations under his mayoralty, which were made in 2016 and 2017.

City Hall is highlighting the success of councils in making bids for the programme funds, saying boroughs are “back in the driving seat” of social housing supply, though this may partly reflect many London housing associations scaling back their building programmes in order to concentrate on dealing with cladding-related fire safety issues.

Sums have been allotted to 57 councils and housing associations for plans including 2,000 properties to be built by the Clarion Housing Group, of which 1,250 will be for social rent, and Brent Council’s 701 dwellings, all of them for social rent.

Network Homes will be building 1,000 affordable homes, of which half will be for social rent, and Paragon Asra will build 1,455, with 930 for social rent. Other boroughs to successfully bid solely for social housing programmes include Haringey (647 homes), Camden (569), Newham (550), Bromley (535) and Kingston (105).

Barking & Dagenham Council has secured funding for 1,757 affordable homes, of which 573 will be for social rent, and Wandsworth Council will be able to start 289 affordable homes, 138 of them for social rent. The London Legacy Development Corporation, which is responsible for housing on the Olympic Park, received funds for 825 affordable homes, of which 149 will be social rent.

The 2021-2026 affordable homes programme will run alongside the remainder of the extended 2016-2023 programme, which received a total of £4.82 billion during in the first two years of Khan’s mayoralty to go towards starting 116,000 “affordable” homes of various kinds. City Hall has confirmed that approximately 49,500 of those starts are still to take place, although all targets for starts have so far been met.

The £3.46 billion will part-fund the proportionately fewer 29,456 properties because building new homes for social rent requires larger contributions from the public purse than the other types of affordable housing and also reflects subsequent increases in building costs.

The remainder of last year’s £4 billion from government will be allocated through what is known as the “continuous market engagement route“, which goes towards ongoing specific housing schemes as distinct from providers’ overall programmes.

Photograph from 2021-2026 funding guidance document.

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