Building the homes Londoners need in housing zones
Jamie Ratcliff, Assistant Director of Programme, Policy and Services for Housing and Land at City Hall, tells us about a new way to help address London’s housing shortage.
Housing is the biggest challenge facing London today. For at least 30 years, under many different governments, London’s housing supply hasn’t kept pace with its booming population. That means we now need to build at least 42,000 homes every year until at least 2036 – getting on for double the current rate.
To meet this challenge, we need radical ideas and fresh approaches to financing and building new homes, like housing zones. Unlike traditional funding programmes, housing zones are tailored to suit each location. The aim is to maximise the number of homes being built.
To get things started, the Mayor has made £400 million of funding available for at least 20 housing zones. This can be used in a wide variety of flexible ways, from financing infrastructure like new roads, new bridges and station improvements, to backing individual housing schemes. In turn, this funding will attract up to £12 billion of other investment.
11 housing zones have already been announced. These will provide 32,779 homes, of which 10,653 will be affordable. By the end of this summer, we will have at least 20 zones in place. Overall they will enable over 50,000 new homes to be built in London by 2025.
Through the zones, London boroughs and the private sector can work together to build the new homes London so desperately needs. As well as housing, the zones will create wonderful places to live with new community facilities like schools, libraries, health and leisure centres.
The first 11 housing zones cover an area of over 20km2 and will create over 65,600 new jobs in construction. The zones are:
- Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead (Royal Borough of Greenwich)
- Abbey Wood, Plumstead and Thamesmead (London Borough of Bexley)
- Barking Town Centre (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham)
- Blackhorse Lane and Northern Olympic Fringe (London Borough of Waltham Forest)
- Clapham Junction (London Borough of Wandsworth)
- Heart of Harrow (London Borough of Harrow)
- Hounslow Town Centre (London Borough of Hounslow)
- New Bermondsey (London Borough of Lewisham)
- Southall (London Borough of Ealing)
- Tottenham (London Borough of Haringey)
- Wembley (London Borough of Brent)