London Mayor to speed up housebuilding

Docklands deal will deliver 3,500 new London homesSadiq Khan has released the first details of his plans to set up a powerful ‘Homes for Londoners’ team at City Hall to oversee homebuilding in the capital and boost the delivery of new homes.

The Mayor of London has begun work to pull together and bolster housing and development capacity at City Hall and across the GLA family.

As a first step, he has begun recruiting new experts to scrutinise ‘viability assessments’ – the financial details that lie behind how much affordable housing new developments include.

The experts, who will be drawn from finance surveyors and property consultant experts and be based at City Hall, will support housing delivery by making planning decisions faster and more consistent, and by ensuring new developments include the maximum amount of affordable housing.

Sadiq will also lead a new ‘Homes for Londoners’ board, formed of London Boroughs, housing associations, and developers.

The board will oversee delivery, land assembly and investment decisions, and will draw on expertise from across the housing and property sectors to help develop new policy for the capital.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Homeownership has been slipping increasingly out of reach for more and more Londoners, and rents have been getting harder and harder to afford. I want to be honest with Londoners from the start that it will take time to turn things around – we’re starting from a position where last year the previous Mayor built the lowest number of affordable homes since records began.

I am determined that Londoners get the same opportunities this great city gave me. That is why I am setting up my Homes for Londoners team to speed up homebuilding and to move towards 50 per cent of new homes in London being genuinely affordable to rent and buy.”

A review of capacity and skills across the GLA will now get underway. Its aim is to ensure the ‘Homes for Londoners’ team can play a more active role in the delivery of housing, particularly in bringing forward public land in London, and speeding up the planning process. This may also lead to additional expertise and support being recruited into the team in due course.

David Montague, Chair of the g15, said: “The Mayor of London has made housing a priority from day one, and we have been working with James Murray on a new strategic housing partnership.

“Homes for Londoners will bring together the GLA, housing associations, local authorities and housebuilders to tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

“The priority now must be to build a long-term pipeline of clean serviced and consented land.  With this we can guarantee apprenticeships, jobs, economic growth, thriving communities and affordable homes.  Without it, London will lose out in the competition for investment and growth.”

Berkeley strikes deal on 3,500-home East London site

Berkeley strikes deal on 3,500-home East London siteA total of 3,500 new homes, a school and a park will transform a disused Parcelforce depot in east London, thanks to an agreement between the Mayor of London and Berkeley Homes.

The 10 hectare site in Stephenson Street, Newham will boast a new school and green space, as well as nearly 100,000 sq ft of community, business, leisure and retail space.

More than 1,200 of the 3,500 homes will be for affordable rent or shared ownership. It is part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s wider push to strengthen institutional investment in the residential market in London, with City Hall initiatives aimed at boosting both shared ownership and purpose-built private rent.

The development of the former depot continues the Mayor’s drive to release all sites in the capital under his ownership for development.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said: This huge chunk of disused land will be put to the best possible use, creating a whole new neighbourhood including 3,500 much-needed new homes, a new school and a park.

This ambitious development will help to further the continuing transformation of east London as part of our Olympic legacy.”

Chairman of the Berkeley Group Tony Pidgley CBE said: Stephenson Street will be a new village for London. It will have all the qualities that a successful community needs: shops, workspaces and a school, links between neighbours, a beautiful park where people can play and great transport connections. Above all, this site will create homes for people regardless of their age, background or income. It will be a place for everyone.

Berkeley Homes was selected from a shortlist of four developers as the partner for the new site as part of the London Development Panel procurement process, which was set up by the Mayor to accelerate the delivery of housing in London.

A key part of the Mayor’s Housing Strategy is to encourage institutional investors, such as pension funds and insurance companies, to invest in housebuilding.

This includes efforts to support extended leases and more stability for tenants as well as top quality, well designed, new developments.

Mayor approves 25,500-home west London plan

London Mayor Boris JohnsonA planning framework which will deliver more than 25,500 new homes and create up to 65,000 jobs at Old Oak and Park Royal has been approved by the Mayor of London.

Old Oak in West London is set to become a new home to a world-class High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail Station by 2026, handling 250,000 passengers a day and acting as a super hub between London and the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

Mayor Boris Johnson believes this presents the opportunity to create tens of thousands of new homes and could provide almost 14 per cent of Greater London’s employment needs up to 2031, with early estimates of a £7 billion annual contribution to the UK economy.

The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation was launched by the Mayor in April and will drive the planning and regeneration of the site that straddles the London boroughs of Hammersmith & Fulham, Brent and Ealing.

Earlier this year, the Mayor published an Opportunity Area Planning Framework for consultation, which sets out his long-term vision for the area. Following the conclusion of that consultation, the Mayor has now approved the document which sets the strategic planning direction for the area.

Sir Edward Lister, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Chairman of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, said: “London urgently needs new homes and commercial space to meet its ever growing population and there can be no doubt that the regeneration of Old Oak represents a real opportunity to meet those needs.

This strategy will mean we can plan for the future of this vast site as we work to create a new, thriving and sustainable part of the capital, where people will love to live, work, play and visit.”

TfL releases land for 10,000 homes across London

London Mayor Boris JohnsonTransport for London (TfL) is to release more than 300 acres of land to help build more than 10,000 new homes across London, paving the way for new construction jobs.

The new land-release programme is in addition to the work of TfL’s £360 million growth fund, which is creating more than 50,000 homes and 30,000 jobs by supporting 14 transport projects across London that are directly unlocking development.

The TfL land will be developed over the next decade to provide vital new homes, offices and retail units to support London’s rapidly growing population and the Capital’s contribution to the economy of the country. Sixty-seven per cent of this phase of development is in travel Zones 1 and 2.

The Mayor of London has pledged to have an exit strategy for all City Hall owned land by the end of his term in 2016, with 99 per cent now freed up for development to help deliver thousands of much needed new homes.

The London Land Commission, driven by the Mayor, will also map all land owned by public authorities in London for the first time, to identify further opportunities for housebuilding.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: ‘TfL’s plans will build on the great efforts we’ve already made at City Hall to ensure brownfield land that has laid empty for years is put to productive use in providing much-needed housing for Londoners.

‘It’s important that all key agencies work together to accelerate the rate of housebuilding across the Capital and redevelop land and assets wherever possible to deliver more homes.’

Graeme Craig, Director of Commercial Development at TfL, said: ‘We’re determined to use our assets to help create more homes and jobs for Londoners. As the custodians of some of the best assets in the Capital, it is right that we explore every opportunity to maximise the use of our land.’

Mayor of London announces to fast-track 12,000 new homes

London Mayor Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London has announced a further four Housing Zones across London, accelerating efforts to deliver the new homes and boost the construction industry.

The new zones in the boroughs of Havering, Enfield, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets will together deliver over 12,000 new homes, nearly 3,500 of which will be affordable housing.

This will bring the number of Housing Zones announced to 15 with a total of 45,109 homes created, 14,055 of them affordable.

The Mayor of London has contributed a total of £162 million in funding to the new Housing Zones, which are a collaborative effort between the Greater London Authority, the government and local boroughs to streamline approval processes and fast-track development in areas where it may not otherwise happen.

Included in the new Housing Zones will be two brand new rail stations, a large new park, new primary schools, and new retail and entertainment precincts. They will revitalise currently disused brownfield sites and turn them into neighbourhoods where Londoners will work, live and visit.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Housing Zones will provide the swift delivery of new homes for Londoners that is so desperately needed and create entirely new, highly-connected urban districts for generations to come.

By freeing up empty brownfield sites from lengthy approval processes and providing a funding boost, we can ensure new housing capacity is created in areas where it might never otherwise have happened.

I am very pleased that the announcement of four more Housing Zones today brings us within touching distance of our aim to create 50,000 new homes through this innovative scheme.”

Mayor of London unveils major new development at West Ham

London Mayor Boris JohnsonPlans to fast track the delivery of approximately 2,000 homes on the site of a former Parcelforce depot in East London have been announced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

The 10 hectare Stephenson Street site at West Ham, Newham used to comprise a large scale Parcelforce warehouse and car park and is the latest of several sites in the Mayor’s ownership to be released for housing.

These land holdings came under the control of the Mayor three years ago when he inherited almost 700 hectares of surplus public land across the capital. So far, 90 per cent of this land is now in development or in the process of development.

With two million Londoners now privately renting, it is expected that a third of the new homes in this residential-led mixed use scheme will be for high quality, long-term private rent, with the remainder delivered as affordable housing to buy or rent as well as and private for sale aimed at Londoners.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “With London now home to more people than ever before, housing supply and affordability is our biggest challenge.

By seeking a development partner for the Stephenson Street site we hope to entice investors and developers to come forward and build quality homes for Londoners.”

The Mayor’s work to redevelop disused public land is one strand of his comprehensive Housing Strategy to double house building and create the homes hardworking Londoners need.

He is set to deliver a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 83,000 already completed.

Housing and infrastructure-top of Londoners’ agenda

London Mayor Boris JohnsonHousing and infrastructure are the key challenges facing the capital, according to a recent Londoners polled by City Hall published this month.

The 2014 London survey was created to ask Londoners what they think about the city to help inform the work of the Mayor and City Hall with 3,674 responses received via the GLA’s Talk London website.

The poll’s findings put housing as the most pressing issue for London with 87 per cent of respondents believing more housing is needed generally, while 65 per cent think more housing is required in their local area.

When asked to rank the best solutions to the housing challenge, the poll found four measures came out neck and neck – these were supporting home ownership for first time buyers; making sure landlords act fairly; improving the quality of existing social housing; and increasing the building of new homes.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “ It is reassuring that the findings reflect the priorities my administration has focused on, ploughing record investment into housing and transport and programmes to promote growth.”

Housing

The Mayor is on track to build a record 100,000 low cost homes for Londoners over his two terms, with more than 77,000 already completed.  This year alone, more affordable homes are being built than in any other year since the early 1980s.

The Mayor is stimulating house building with a range of pioneering new policies, including 20 new housing zones to help fast-track the delivery of 50,000 new homes; and a housing bank to make long term low cost loans available for new affordable homes.

The Mayor has launched the first ever London Rental Standard – a city-wide badge of accreditation, to help millions of Londoners rent with confidence. The standard is awarded to all landlords and letting agents who meet a set of significant core commitments set by the Mayor.

Mayor names London’s first Housing Zones

London Mayor Boris JohnsonThe Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today named London’s first Housing Zones that will pave the way for thousands of new jobs in the construction industry.

In nine boroughs, the new Zones will bring forward enormous regeneration and transform key areas of the capital, with £260 million of new investment to deliver 28,000 much needed new homes across the capital.

London’s first Housing Zones will unlock the redevelopment of 1897.42 hectares of brownfield land across the capital, the equivalent of 2,656 football pitches.

The special status has been awarded to areas identified by London boroughs as key opportunity sites, to maximise development, fast track homes and deliver much needed infrastructure to boost development. The Housing Zone status will remain until 2025.

Part of the Mayor’s commitment to double housebuilding as London’s population continues to boom, the first of the new Zones will create more than 56,000 construction jobs on 52 schemes across the capital.

Creating first class new neighbourhoods, measures agreed within the Zones include: 5 station upgrades; 5 new schools; 4 new bridges, 2 new civic centres; a new park, a new ‘3G’ football pitch, shops, restaurants, and libraries. They will also include more than 9,000 low cost homes, for some of the capital’s most essential workers.

The Mayor’s announcement comes on the day he and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, outlined a package of measures to boost the city’s economy and support infrastructure including housing.

London’s first Housing Zones will be in the boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Bexley, Ealing, Royal Borough of Greenwich, Haringey, Harrow, Hounslow, Lewisham, Wandsworth. More across London are currently being considered with around 20 expected to be designated by later his year. Together they will provide over 50,000 new homes across London.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “As London’s population continues to boom, already at its highest since records began and with more growth predicted, housing is a huge challenge. We need to double housebuilding and provide a million more homes by 2025.

These innovative new Housing Zones, the first of their kind in the UK, will trigger regeneration and turbo boost the transformation of the capital’s brownfield sites, creating tens of thousands of new homes for hard working Londoner in first class new neighbourhoods.”

New funding boost to repair London’s low cost homes

New funding boost to repair London’s low cost homesThousands of aging council homes across the capital are set to be renovated and repaired, thanks to a £145 million funding boost from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

From replacing dilapidated roofs, doors and windows, to rewiring, and updating outmoded bathrooms and kitchens, the funds will be used on internal and external repairs to help improve living conditions for thousands of local authority residents, across nine London boroughs. 

Improvements will soon be underway in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Camden, Lambeth, Kingston upon Thames, Southwark and Sutton, with the funds secured by the Mayor through the Government’s ‘Decent Homes Backlog Funding ’ programme.

In addition to these borough improvements, the Mayor’s RE:NEW support team is ensuring plans are in place to make council-owned homes as energy efficient as possible.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “As London’s population continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, and we strive to double the number of new homes being built across the capital, maintaining the quality of London’s essential existing housing stock is vital.

These improvement works, in those homes in most urgent need of repair, are essential to ensure a decent quality of life for thousands of Londoners.”

Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis said: “The Government is giving London this significant funding boost, which will improve the lives of thousands of council tenants by bringing their homes up to a Decent Standard.

And the changes we have brought in to protect leaseholders will help tenants by ensuring the repairs on their home get done without landlords imposing unreasonable charges.”

The £145 million funding is in addition to the £821 million share of the Decent Homes programme, agreed with the government and committed to 14 boroughs during 2011-15 to help transform social housing in the worst conditions.

Boris Johnson to turn empty properties into affordable homes

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is forming a partnership with Big Issue Invest to renovate empty properties into new affordable homes, whilst creating work opportunities and boosting the trades.

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.”