Developers will be required to meet new standards to secure cash from 82,000-home affordable deal
London mayor Sadiq Khan has concluded a deal with housing secretary Robert Jenrick for a new generation of affordable housing in the capital.
He said the £4bn affordable homes programme (AHP) will help build thousands of new social housing homes between 2021 and 2026.
The new AHP will run concurrently with the current 2016-23 programme, which has been extended by one year due to the pandemic.
Together they will result in the delivery of 82,000 new homes from April 2021 onwards, Khan (pictured) said.
In September housing seccretary Robert Jenrick announced details of the £12.2bn Affordable Homes Programme across England, making clear that £4bn had been allocated to London.
However, the GLA said it was still in negotiations with the government over what the cash will fund, pointing out that it's own research had shown the capital needed £5bn every year to meet the scale of demand.
Housing providers wishing to bid for funds from the new AHP will have to meet a series of conditions on building safety and design.
These include the installation of sprinklers or other fire suppression systems in new blocks of flats and a ban on combustible materials being used in external walls for all residential development, regardless of height.
Firms will also be required to meet minimum floor-to-ceiling heights and a requirement for private outdoor space, as well as a ‘sunlight clause’ requiring all homes with three or more bedrooms to be dual aspect.
Any single aspect one- or two-bedroom homes need to not be north-facing and have at least one room with direct sunlight for at least part of the day.
Providers must also live up to new equality, diversity and inclusion standards, with training for all employees, a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination and a commitment to recruiting from diverse and under-represented groups.
They will also be expected to publish details of their gender and ethnicity pay gaps.
Research undertaken by the GLA and G15 – London’s largest housing associations – last year showed London needed £4.9bn a year for the next 10 years to meet the capital’s level of affordable housing need.