London mayor Boris Johnson will invest £22m in renovating more than 1,300 of London’s abandoned, derelict and blighted buildings to turn them into family homes.
He said today that the pledge would mean he is on ‘course to meet his manifesto pledge to invest a total of £60m new funding to bring over 3,400 empty homes back into use by 2011’.
As well as providing affordable homes in the capital, the funding will support an extensive repairs and renovations programme.
London boroughs have now received more than £39m from the mayor and he has promised a further £21m in 2010/11 to fund a range of practical measures to encourage owners to repair and bring their homes back into use. His aim is to reduce the proportion of long-term empty homes in the capital to 1%. Johnson said: ‘In the last housing market downturn of the 1990s, the number of empty homes soared. Leaving homes empty when so many people are seeking housing is unacceptable and abandoned buildings can blight neighbourhoods, attracting vandalism and creating local eyesores.
‘Today's package delivers an unprecedented level of funding to tackle the capital's empty homes, more than tripling the previous budget. Working with London's boroughs, this investment will help to significantly improve London's housing stock.’
London councils’ executive member for housing, Cllr Steve Reed, said: ‘While there is desperate need to deliver new housing, ensuring that the capital’s existing housing stock is not only fully utilised but also offers safe, secure and decent homes to Londoners is as – if not more - important. This funding will support London boroughs in their efforts to bring large numbers of empty homes back into service, and give fuel to their drive to improve standards across their housing stock. It will make a real difference to our tenants.’