Gypsy and Traveller accommodation

The Mayor is working with councils, housing associations, the Government and others to make sure that London’s homes and neighbourhoods meet its diverse housing needs. This includes accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers; and the Mayor is supporting better provision of suitable accommodation for this community group in the following ways:

  • Using his draft London Plan to outline the requirements for London boroughs to plan to assess need and meet the identified need for Gypsy and Traveller pitches
  •  Providing capital grant funding to local authorities to remodel existing pitches/sites or build new ones through his Affordable Homes Programme 
  •  Making revenue funding available to local authorities through his Homebuilding Capacity Fund to support needs assessments and site audits
  • Supporting research into the potential of making use of a negotiated stopping approach in London to reduce the number of unauthorised developments and encampments in the capital. 

The draft London Plan

The draft London Plan requires boroughs to plan to meet the identified need for permanent Gypsy and Traveller pitches. It also requires boroughs to undertake a Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessment or update their needs assessment as part of the Development Plan review process. These should be based on the new definition of Gypsies and Travellers adopted by the Mayor in the draft London Plan. The draft London Plan also requires that boroughs undertake an audit of existing local authority provided pitches and sites, addressing any issues identified by the audit.

Affordable Homes Programme funding

Having secured more than £4.8 billon from the Government, the Mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme provides funding to London boroughs, housing associations, and private developers   to help start building at least 116,000 affordable homes by 2022. 
   
Capital funding is being made available through the Mayor’s Affordable Homes Programme to help remodel existing Gypsy and Traveller sites and pitches in need of refurbishment or build new sites. The Mayor is encouraging all London boroughs to make use of this funding for their Gypsy and Traveller accommodation. To find out how you can access this funding, contact your dedicated Homes for Londoners Area Manager.     
 

Homebuilding Capacity Fund

The Mayor knows that London boroughs may need additional resources to undertake Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessments. This is why he is supporting local authorities with £10 million of revenue funding which can be used to undertake Gypsy and Traveller accommodation needs assessments through his Homebuilding Capacity Fund, to build capacity and develop the necessary skills and expertise required to increase housing supply in their local area, including through meeting the needs for this community group. 

The deadline for submitting bids for funding closed on Friday 25 January 2019, and bids are currently being assessed.
 

Negotiated stopping research

The Mayor is providing funding to London Gypsies and Travellers and DeMontfort University to conduct research into how a negotiated stopping approach might work in London.

Negotiated stopping is a more balanced approach to managing unauthorised encampments based on a mutual agreement between the local authority and Gypsy and Traveller families on matters such as correct waste disposal and basic temporary facilities. Following a pilot implemented in Leeds, the approach was found to save the local authority and police up to £230,000 annually as well as promote community cohesion.  

The first stage of the research involves a survey into what procedures and processes London boroughs currently have in dealing with unauthorised encampments. London boroughs can support this research by taking part in a survey; www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KCRYXF2. Responses are encouraged by 31 March 2019. 

To find out more information about this research, please visit www.londongypsiesandtravellers.org.uk