'London needs secure, reliable funding to build the homes of tomorrow'

22 July 2013

• Reiterates call for action as he announces £137m to kick-start delivery of next phase of affordable homes

• Predicted capital will need a further 1 million homes by 2031

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, today reiterated his call for urgent action to help meet the increasing demand for housing in the capital as he announced details of a £137 million fund to kick-start delivery of the next phase of affordable homes to rent and buy in the capital.

The funding, which will deliver over 6,000 affordable homes and secure up to 12,500 jobs, has been allocated to 56 housing providers who will all begin work in this Mayoral term.

Building up this future pipeline of affordable housing is essential to maintaining the capital's economic competitiveness. With a rapidly increasing population it is predicted that at least 40,000 additional homes need to be built every year in London by the 2030s. Without these homes Londoners who work in the city will find it increasingly difficult to be able to afford to live here.

The Mayor is calling on the Government to look again at granting the capital a continuous, reliable funding stream for housing enabling him to get the best deal for Londoners, negotiate longer-term agreements with developers, and secure the housing the capital needs to continue to thrive and grow.

These were the recommendations of the London Finance Commission report earlier this year. The funding announced today is the next phase of the Mayor's Housing Covenant, his pledge to help those who contribute to London's economy to live in the city, and is in addition to his plans to deliver 55,000 affordable homes, which remain firmly on track.

Visiting one of his First Steps developments, which help families into low cost home ownership, in Bexley, the Mayor, Boris Johnson, said: “'London needs secure, reliable funding now to build the homes of tomorrow. Over the last five years we have delivered record numbers of affordable homes, bought thousands of empty homes back into use and helped tens of thousands of Londoners on to the property ladder with part-buy, part-rent schemes.

“However our funding stream is full of stops and starts making it challenging to plan ahead and get on with delivering the thousands of homes we need every year after that to accommodate London’s growing population. With fair and continuous funding from the government, based on the vast sums raised through stamp duty on London’s higher value homes, we can meet this need - at no cost to the Treasury - and go on to maintain London’s position as the greatest city on earth.”

Schemes, like the one at Bexley, are on track to help over 50,000 Londoners to buy their own home by 2016, helping to reduce the pressure on London’s overburdened rental market, all funded through the Mayor's First Steps programme.

The Mayor recently launched a new portal to help Londoners access all the information they need to buy or rent an affordable home including information about the Government's 'Help to Buy' fund which has allocated £500m to Londoners. At the development the Mayor met new homeowner Damian Fichardo who moved in with his wife and two young daughters last year.

Without the help of the Mayor’s First Steps scheme Damian, who works at Victoria Coach Station, and his family would never have been able to move out of their rented accommodation and buy their own home.

Damian Fichardo, homeowner, said: “It's every parents dream to secure a better future for their children. In the past I felt as if I was pouring money down the drain when I was in rented accommodation. I tried to get on the property ladder but didn't have enough deposit. Thanks to the Mayor's First Steps scheme I now own a wonderful apartment here in Bexley. We live close to my daughter’s school and near the train station and with Crossrail on the horizon will be even better connected to London."

Ian Gorst Managing Director of Bellway Thames Gateway commented: “We welcome Boris Johnson’s commitment to increasing the number of homes for people in London. The Government’s support for homebuyers such as First Steps and Help to Buy, has kick-started the housing market and is making more homes available to first time buyers and those wanting to take a step up the housing ladder. We echo his statement for long-term predictability of funding as this provides more confidence to builders to invest in schemes such as Belvedere Park where we are increasing the pace of development. This new funding will stimulate development and create more employment opportunities while opening the door to many more people wishing to buy a new home.” 

Notes to editors

• First Steps is one of many schemes the Mayor is using to address London’s housing need, making it easier for Londoners to buy in the capital, and directing vast sums into the construction of new homes. Helping those who work hard to make the capital an economic success to buy their own homes also reduces pressure on London’s rental market.

• With London’s population growing faster than ever before, and expected to approach 10 million by 2030, the Mayor believes we need to build another 1 million homes by 2031. If London were to be allocated roughly what the city yields in Stamp Duty, around £1bn a year thanks to London’s high house prices, the Mayor would be able to tackle this crisis.

• This stable and continuous funding would give developers the confidence to make long term investments and support an accelerated programme of home-building, securing London’s economic growth and global competitiveness and creating hundreds of thousands of long-term jobs in the construction industry.

• The funding prospectus for the Mayor’s Housing Covenant “Building the Pipeline” programme was published on 8 March 2013. For more information, please visit:http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/housing-land/increasing-housing-supp... 

The 56 developers to be allocated funding are: A2Dominion London Limited Adcris CIC Affinity Sutton Group Limited All People, All Places. AmicusHorizon Limited Anchor House Circle Anglia Limited City YMCA, London East Thames Group Family Mosaic Housing Forest Young Men's Christian Association of East London Habinteg Housing Association Limited Hexagon Housing Association Limited Home Group Limited Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association Ltd Islington Council L B Southwark Lambeth & Southwark Housing Association Limited LB Bexley LB Waltham Forest (URB) Leicester Housing Association Limited London Borough of Barking and Dagenham London Borough of Camden Council London Borough of Croydon London Borough of Enfield London Borough of Greenwich London Borough of Harrow London Borough of Havering Council London Borough of Hounslow London Borough of Lewisham London Borough of Redbridge London Borough of Tower Hamlets London Borough of Wandsworth Major Housing Association Limited Meanwhile Space Moat Homes Limited Notting Hill Housing Trust Octavia Housing One Housing Group Limited Orbit Group Limited Paradigm Housing Group Limited Paragon Community Housing Group Limited Peabody Trust Phases Social Enterprise Phoenix Community Housing Co-op Poplar HARCA Limited Romford YMCA Southern Housing Group Limited Southwark Council St John of God Hospitaller Services. Telford Homes Plc Thames Valley Housing Association Limited The Guinness Trust Viridian Housing West London YMCA YMCA London South West

• The Mayor’s First Steps schemes help Londoners on a modest income to buy or rent at a price they can afford – every property in London available as part of one of these schemes can now be accessed through the Mayor’s First Steps portal. Simply type ‘First Steps’ into any search engine or visit: www.sharetobuy.com/firststeps.