A deal between London Mayor Sadiq Khan and L&Q housing association promises to see work started on 12,000 “genuinely affordable” new homes across the capital by 2021, City Hall has announced.
The mayor is to contribute £400m from the £3.15bn he secured from the government for affordable housing last November to an £8bn L&Q investment programme for 20,000 new dwellings in all in London during the period concerned.
The exact mix of affordable housing types has yet to be finalised and will vary depending on individual sites to be developed and local planning requirements, but it is expected that around one third of the 12,000 will be for rent at low “affordable rent” levels – close to traditional social rents – with the other two thirds comprising London Living Rent, based on a third of average local incomes, and shared ownership properties.
The high proportion of affordable homes in the L&Q deal – 60% of the total – represents a boost to Mayor Khan’s long-term objective of raising the amount of what he calls “genuinely affordable” new homes built in London to 50% of the overall total. His affordability definition is more stringent than that of government, which includes modestly discounted “starter homes”.
It is likely that some of the investment package will be spent in Barking, where L&Q has a stake in the 10,000-plus home Barking Riverside regeneration scheme. Last March L&Q formed a joint venture with the Greater London Authority for developing what is one of the capital’s largest regeneration sites, when Boris Johnson was London Mayor.
L&Q has previously expressed support for the London Living Rent tenure, which figured prominently in Khan’s mayoral election campaign last year.
The mayor’s £400m contribution to L&Q’s programme is in line with manifesto pledges to “work with housing associations to keep their rents down” and to support the sector’s commitment to doubling the number of homes it supplies.
Khan has also announced that 23 London employers are now offering more than 100,000 employees help with their housing costs, including mortgage guarantees and loans to help them raise the deposits they need for renting, as a result of an initiative launched in January with business organisation London First.