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Boost for the capital’s affordable homes

Published: Thursday, 1st December 2016

London Mayor publishes proposed new planning guidance designed to support the construction of 90,000 new affordable homes in the capital over the next five years…

London Mayor Sadiq Khan this week unveiled the proposed new planning regime designed to speed up the building of more affordable housing.

The Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), now out for consultation, confirms that developers will avoid the requirement for protracted viability negotiations if they meet a minimum 35 per cent affordable housing.

Publication of the SPG came as the mayor outlined how investment of £3.15bn will support 90,000 new affordable homes in the capital over the next five years.

These will be a mix of low-cost rent, shared ownership and London Living Rent, which is based on a third of average household incomes in each borough.

Most homes in the Mayor's programme will be delivered by housing associations, with the condition that their plans must include a minimum 50 per cent affordable housing.

The SPG supports new 'Build to Rent' developments, where institutions like pension funds invest in blocks of long-term private and affordable flats to rent. 

It also provides guidance for a planning covenant to cover specific planning permission for rental developments, with clawback arrangements if units are sold outside of the rental market.

Khan had talked about a 50 per cent target for affordable home provision. He insisted this week that that remained the aspiration.

“The record-breaking investment I have agreed with government means we can start building a range of different affordable homes to suit Londoners’ needs.

“Together with my new planning guidance, we can begin to boost the number of homes built in London and move towards a long-term strategic goal of half of all new homes being genuinely affordable.”

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Roger Milne