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Khan revises affordable homes target

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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Lab) is to let private developers build 35% affordable housing as part of new developments – 15% less than his manifesto pledge.

The 35% threshold is set out in the mayor’s supplementary planning guidance, which has been published today and is subject to a three-month consultation.

The document said the threshold was “set at a level which is ambitious and practical” and added it was the “first step towards increasing the level of affordable housing” in London. The mayor plans to bring forward a new plan for London in 2019.

City Hall told LGC the mayor’s “long-term goal” remained ensuring one in every two homes built in the capital is affordable. In July the capital’s deputy mayor for housing James Murray (Lab) told LGC in July that the 50% affordable housing target would “take time” to implement.

The planning guidance also said: “In order to increase affordable housing delivery generally the mayor will, in addition to delivery through the planning system, use his funding powers to increase affordable housing, and expect higher proportions of affordable housing on schemes developed by RPs [registered providers] or those on publicly owned land.”

After London was awarded £3.15bn in last week’s autumn statement to deliver 90,000 affordable homes, Mr Khan has set out plans as to how that funding will be used.

The homes will be a mix of low-cost rent, shared ownership and London Living Rent, which is based on a third of average household incomes in each borough.

Mr Khan said most homes would be delivered by housing associations, with the condition that their plans must include a minimum 50% affordable housing but potentially rising to 60% for some providers.

Mr Khan said: “I have been clear that fixing the housing crisis will be a marathon and not a sprint, but I am determined to lead from the front and get on with building genuinely affordable homes for Londoners to rent and buy.

“These announcements today demonstrate real progress on the long road towards fixing London’s housing crisis.

“The record-breaking investment I have agreed with government means we can start building a range of different affordable homes to suit Londoners’ needs. Together with my new planning guidance, we can begin to boost the number of homes built in London and move towards a long-term strategic goal of half of all new homes being genuinely affordable.”

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