The Mayor has awarded a £10 million loan from his Housing Covenant to Big Issue Invest who help small community organisation’s to renovate empty homes or buildings to convert them into good quality affordable housing for Londoners to rent or part buy.
The funding will revolve over a 10-year period and result in up to 400 empty homes being transformed into good quality low cost housing. In addition it will provide long term unemployed people, veterans and out of work young people from across London the opportunity of employment and training in construction.
The Mayor’s Housing Covenant supports organisations proposing innovative ways of delivering affordable housing through a Revolving Fund and is one of a number of housing schemes the Mayor is delivering to boost affordable housing, stimulate building and fast track the delivery of thousands of much needed new homes.
The proportion of empty homes in the capital has fallen dramatically under the Mayor, and at 0.7 per cent is now at the lowest level since the 1970s. Over 5,000 empty homes have been brought back into use through GLA housing programmes since 2008.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “With the huge demand for housing it’s essential we get empty properties back into use, which is why I’m helping innovative projects renovate them back into much needed affordable homes.
“Big Issue Invest are masters of boosting community social enterprise and delivering key employment and training skills to the homeless and unemployed people who need our extra support. This funding sits alongside my affordable home programme which is on track to deliver 100,000 new low cost homes across the city.”
Speaking about the Fund, Big Issue Group’s Chair, Nigel Kershaw said “This is really exciting, the Fund helps to extend The Big Issue’s mission of preventing and dismantling poverty and creating opportunity.
“That we are offering homes and employment opportunities to vulnerable people makes this so important to us, as it’s all about preventing people ending up on the streets.”