The Homes and Communities Agency and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson have pledged £135m to kick start the housing market in the capital through investment in stalled private sector schemes.
The HCA London board will allocate £93m to re-start five stalled housing projects in the capital, as well as investing £42m into a London & Quadrant Housing Trust portfolio.
The five ‘stalled projects’ are: Aylesbury Estate in Southwark, First Base’s Heart of East Greenwich scheme, St Andrew’s Hospital in Tower Hamlets, being developed by Barratt Homes, ‘Berkeley Homes’ Woodberry Down in Hackney, and the Holloway Road scheme being developed by First Base in Islington.
It will also invest £42m into a portfolio of sites being developed by London & Quadrant, which will support the delivery of nearly 500 ‘intermediate rent’ homes. These will be offered at discounted rent – 80% of the market rent – until the occupier is ready to buy. The scheme will be known as ‘Up2U’.
The organisations hope the funding package will deliver 3,000 new affordable homes to London.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: ‘London is taking the first major step and leading the way in tackling this housing crisis as we begin the process of helping thousands of Londoners who have been left stranded for so long in both boom time and now during the downturn.
‘The money we are investing today is also a major shot in the arm for London’s development sector and the economy. As this rolls out thousands of construction sector jobs will be saved but more importantly the sector will emerge strong to build and grow London when the recovery comes.’
Sir Bob Kerslake, chief executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: ‘We’re doing everything we can to get projects moving and deliver well-designed homes for Londoners. Our flexible investment approach means we’re able to respond quickly and effectively to bring forward affordable housing that would otherwise not get built.
‘This funding package for kick starting developments will keep regeneration activity moving and provide the housing market with a much-needed confidence boost.’
L&Q chief executive, David Montague said: ‘The HCA’s planned investment in our new package of Up2U sites has given L&Q the confidence to start construction that would otherwise be mothballed. L&Q is working with other housing organisations to test the scalability of this initiative so that many more mothballed sites can be started.’
The investment package is subject to approval by the Department of Communities and Local Government.