Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Two-thirds of Housing Zones homes 'would have been built anyway'

Two-thirds of homes funded through Boris Johnson’s £400m Housing Zones would have been built anyway, Inside Housing can reveal.

City Hall has advertised the scheme as providing 53,000 new homes across the 20 zones in the capital that have been allocated grant and government loans to unlock building work.

However, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request made by Inside Housing, it confirmed only 16,600 of these are extra homes that result from the £400m of government funding.

The remaining 37,008 homes will be fast-tracked by the government cash, but are likely to have been built anyway over a longer period by the developers working in the relevant zones.

Responding to the request, the Greater London Authority said: “We have unlocked 16,660 homes and accelerated 37,008 in the current programme of 20 Housing Zones, with a further 10 zones to be announced later this year.”

The Housing Zones programme offers funding and planning certainty to developers on sites spread across the capital, from Westminster in central London, to Ilford on its eastern edge.

A total of £200m in recoverable loans and £200m in grant has been allocated to the developers, largely to fund key infrastructure such as bridges and stations to ‘unlock’ the developments.

Last month, the mayor of London allocated a further £200m of grant which was initially intended to fund his Affordable Housing Programme to a further 10 zones, which are yet to be announced.

City Hall estimates a third of the 53,000 homes built across the 20 zones will be designated as affordable. A range of tenures will be offered, including affordable rent and shared ownership.

It has previously said the 10 new zones, which will be allocated before the London elections in May, will deliver at least 25,000 homes by 2026, with 6,000 of these “affordable”.



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