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Sadiq Khan has committed to building 10,000 new council homes as part of his bid to retain his position as Mayor of London.
Speaking in his manifesto for the elections in May, Khan said it was even more important to build affordable homes, with Covid-19 shining “a fresh light on the housing pressures in our city”.
To build the 10,000 new council homes, Khan says: “I’ll also explore the creation of a new 'right to buy back' fund, supporting councils to purchase homes previously sold through the right to buy.
“I’ll commit my new affordable homes programme to building a majority of homes at social rent, with new space, safety and quality standards to show that social housing can deliver homes that are not just more affordable than the private market, but better quality too.
“I’ll expand my pioneering land fund to intervene in the land market and deliver more genuinely affordable homes.”
He also reiterated his position over prioritising key workers for intermediate housing, such as Shared Ownership and London Living Rent.
Other housing measures Khan is looking to introduce are:
- Expand the number of community-led homes
- Pilot a new City Hall developer to start directly building the low-cost homes Londoners need
- More genuinely affordable homes on surplus public land
- Housing and Land directorate to get first refusal on TfL land suitable for housing development above and beyond TfL’s current development programme
- Commission an independent review to “streamline housing development”
- Where GLA land is developed, a new expectation will be that “we retain the freehold or an interest in the land”
- Continue to support safe modern methods of construction (MMC) such as modular housing
- New shared-ownership homes funded through the new affordable homes programme to come with 999-year leases
- Pilot a commonhold scheme to show how this form of ownership can become the new national standard for new flats
- Work with council and housing association landlords across London to reduce the charges leaseholders face
Khan is also committing to “systemic change” within building safety and says he will continue to fight “for sprinklers and other fire suppression systems in all blocks of flats, and a ban on combustible materials on all buildings”.
He added: “I’ll continue to press for the decisive action needed to ensure no leaseholder has to pay to fix fire-safety defects in their homes that they had no part in creating, including pressing for the swift introduction of a levy on major developers which could raise more than £3bn to help pay for the work.
“I will act on all Grenfell Tower Inquiry recommendations that fall within my control, and do all I can to ensure others do the same.”
And on decarbonisation, Khan says there will be “no weakening of these high standards” already introduced in the capital, saying that he will set up a “leading centre” to look at new retrofit techniques.
You can see all the candidates running to become the next Mayor here.