Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 21st September 2022.
Since becoming Mayor I have taken decisive action to boost London’s community-led housing sector.
In 2018, I secured £38m from the government for London’s Community Housing Fund. So far, I have allocated £21.7m to 94 community groups and nine London boroughs. Almost 70 homes have started and a further 250 are expecting to do so shortly. This funding has enabled innovative schemes to come forward, such as Tonic at Bankhouse - the UK’s first LGBT+ affirming homes for older people.
In the same year, I launched London’s Community-Led Housing Hub, which is supporting community groups get projects off the ground. The invaluable work of the hub has helped me to meet - ahead of time - my target to identify a pipeline of 1,000 community-led homes.
I have also earmarked specific sites for community-led housing through my Small Sites, Small Builders programme – and will be releasing more sites soon. In addition, I am delighted to be launching the opportunity for community groups to submit proposals for the 50 homes on the St Ann’s hospital site I have earmarked specifically for community-led housing.
I am also delighted that Dinah Roake - a leading light in London’s community housing sector and a former Operations Director of Russ Community Land Trust - is our new London Housing Panel Chair.
Having made so much progress, I am extremely disappointed that the government is not extending the Community Housing Fund or introducing a successor programme, and I will continue to lobby them to do so.
I will also seek to support the sector through my other funding programmes, including my Affordable Homes Programmes. My team is also working closely with the Hub on how it can continue beyond the end of the Community Housing Fund, so that Londoners do not lose this valuable resource.
However, longer-term investment is critical, and London’s great progress will be thwarted unless the government steps up and provides this. I look forward to discussions on this in due course with the new Secretary of State.