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Flagship community led affordable housing projects announced for London

As part of the Mayor of London’s pledge to boost small builders in the capital and increase supply, flagship community led housing projects are to deliver 100% genuinely affordable homes.

A recent announcement claims that an additional £3.8million of funds will be made available over the next year in a bid to extend the Mayor’s small sites, small builders programme. The programme will span two sites, as chosen by the London Community Land Trust.

The trust, formed as a result of a campaign led by Citizens UK, were successful in their bid to secure building projects at both Christchurch Road in Lambeth and Cable Street in Tower Hamlets, allowing for a total of around 70 affordable new homes.

It is believed that the homes will eventually be sold for between a third and a half of their true market value, as they will be priced in accordance with local average incomes, and based upon the principle that mortgage repayments should not account for more than a third of a person’s income.

Currently, large development firms dominate London’s home building sector, meaning that smaller building contractors who produce fewer than 100 homes have been significantly marginalised over the past decade. Mayor Sadiq Khan believes that by granting small and medium sized builders, including community led housing groups, access to small plots of publicly owned land through a simplified bidding process, this will help to reduce the decline of such organisations.

The scheme was piloted in February, when a number of Transport for London spots were made available, with some large enough to accommodate 90 new homes. The pilot was deemed a success, with 80 organisations tabling a total of 134 bids.

‘Tackling the housing crisis is complex and will take time, and we must use every tool at our disposal. Making small plots of public land available for housing development is a key part of addressing London’s housing shortage,’ said Khan.

‘Not only will this programme help to provide the new, genuinely affordable homes that Londoners so desperately need, but it will also reinvigorate our small and medium-sized homebuilders after years of over reliance on large developers,’ he added.

Furthermore, Calum Green, co-director of the London Community Land Trust, stated that trust such as his allow Londoners to play an active role in solving the issue of genuinely affordable housing in the city.

He said: These two sites, announced by the Mayor will mean over 200 people will no longer be forced to leave London and can stay in the neighbourhood they call home.’

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