In her speech at the Conservative party conference today, Prime Minister Theresa May announced an additional £2 billion investment in affordable housing.
Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive member for housing, said:
“The housing situation in London is beyond a crisis. It is a full blown emergency that requires immediate action. According to the Government’s own calculations, London needs a staggering 72,000 new homes a year to meet demand.
“Today London has boroughs who are ready, willing and able to do more and a Mayor who is also committed to action, but we need the resources right now.
“Making an additional £2 billion available for affordable and social housing bids from across the whole country is a start, but any positive impact may take too long to materialise. We await further details of London’s share.
“Government urgently needs to address the entrenched lack of investment in social housing and remove restrictions on councils’ abilities to borrow and to allocate funding from other pots, such as Right To Buy receipts, to build new homes. Only this, alongside welfare reforms and concerted efforts to increase other types and tenures of housing, will make a difference."
Notes to editors:
- Government funding for affordable housing has dropped by one third since 2010, according to the National Housing Federation. For more information visit: http://www.housing.org.uk/how-public-money-is-spent-on-housing/
- The London Plan includes a target of building 50,000 homes a year to meet demand. The Government’s suggested target for London (currently out for consultation) is 72,000 a year. The number of homes delivered in the capital is currently around 25,000 a year.
- Table illustrating the number of new homes built in England between 2013 and 2016:
|Date||Private housebuilders||Housing associations||Local authorities|
- The above shows that local authorities are increasing their build rate, but to deliver at sufficient scale on affordable housing (including social housing in high demand areas) requires a bigger increase in funding than £2 billion (which works out as 5,000 additional homes per year for 5 years).