Sadiq Khan has announced a new scheme that underlines his commitment to affordable housing.
The London Mayor has released the first plot of land bought during his term in office for 330 new homes. But not just any homes. This new development in Waltham Forest will be entirely made up of affordable homes, available as shared ownership properties for first time buyers.
City Hall bought the former industrial estate last year with the intention of finding a development partner. Housing Association Catalyst will build the new homes, plus a creative hub featuring affordable artist studios, a new park and a retail space.
“I’m doing all I can to help fix London’s housing crisis, but it will take time to turn things round,” said Khan.
“This site in Walthamstow shows the benefit of City Hall taking a greater role unlocking and bringing forward land for development – working closely with housing associations like Catalyst to deliver a scheme that is 100% affordable for Londoners struggling to buy a home.”
London’s mayor has faced criticism for failing to build any social housing during his first year in office.
But Khan hit back, expressing anger that major developments have cut commitments to affordable housing. Wandsworth Council axing 250 affordable homes from the Battersea Power Station redevelopment was the latest example.
Khan is adamant that he wants City Hall and its Homes For Londoners team to have a greater role in land decisions.
This is a taster of what’s to come
“When Sadiq was elected, he was very clear that he wanted to take a more interventionist approach to getting homes built in London,” said James Murray, Deputy Mayor For Housing.
“We know that London hasn’t been building nearly the number of new and affordable homes we need for many years.
“This is just the first example of how we are going to have a more active involvement in getting homes built in London. More details around where we are going to scale this up will be in the draft London Housing Strategy. But this is a taster of what’s to come.”
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The Waltham Forest development follows new guidance detailing how Khan will use planning powers to fast track new homes.
With his full strategy announced next month, is the mayor finally getting to grips with the scale of the housing crisis in London?