London Mayor releases first TfL site for ‘affordable’ housing

by: Carmen Reichman
  • 25/08/2016
  • 0
London Mayor releases first TfL site for ‘affordable’ housing
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has released the first Transport for London (TfL) site for development of affordable housing, saying more will be unlocked in the autumn.

Khan instructed TfL to bring forward a site in Kidbrooke, which will provide 400 new homes, half of which will be classed ‘affordable’ to rent and buy.

Kidbrooke is the first in a wave of sites ready to be developed for thousands of new homes across London and will be followed by a batch of brownfield sites unlocked by the Mayor and TfL in the autumn.

The Mayor said he had identified the potential to build up to 10,000 new homes at 75 sites across 300 acres of land owned by TfL in the capital, and is working to fast-track sites to be used for construction.

Khan has set out a long-term strategic goal in his manifesto in which he calls for 50% of new London homes to be affordable. In contrast, he said, about 13% affordable housing was approved last year, when Boris Johnson was in office.

Khan said: “Londoners are being priced out of their own city and we need to be honest that we’re not going to turn things round overnight.

“Getting homes built on public land can be hard, but after being elected I set to work immediately to make sure we get building on more of the hundreds of sites owned by Transport for London, stretching right across the capital, that have been allowed to languish unused for far too long.”

Despite bringing vast numbers of new houses to the market, the Mayor’s initiative may not turn out to be a great opportunity for brokers, said Mortgage Concepts Associates director Mike Richards.

If the houses are offered with government schemes, such as Help to Buy, the scheme could be too prescriptive or tied to particular brokers, he explained.

Richards said: “It depends on the building. If they are going to have Help to Buy schemes sometimes they will be a closed shop for us. They will get their own brokers involved and for many normal brokers this will mean it won’t be particularly brilliant.”

TfL wants to partner with a developer by early next year to be able to complete the development by 2020.

The Mayor also has plans to develop other public sector land across London and said he will work with government ministers to ensure a more active role for City Hall in identifying surplus public land that can be used for the construction of affordable housing.

TfL will be working with traditional larger developers, while additional sites will be developed in conjunction with small and medium size enterprises and Community Land Trusts – in a bid to help diversify the pool of people and businesses who benefit from London’s growth.

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