Boris loans £21m to get 400 affordable homes built by 2016
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Development, Housing
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has loaned £21.7 million to developer Pocket to get around 400 affordable homes built by 2016.
Pocket, a private developer of affordable housing, was awarded the 10-year loan as part of the Mayor's housing covenant, which is committed to helping Londoners into home ownership.
The developer has said it intends to reinvest its profits to deliver the maximum number of homes by 2023. The majority of properties will be in Zones 2 and 3 and the first are anticipated to be ready for occupation by October 2014.
Pocket estimates that over the next 10 years it will invest around £500m in delivering new homes, generating over 5,000 jobs.
Boris Johnson said: "It is vital we accelerate housebuilding to boost London's economy and ease the pressure on low and middle income first time buyers.
"These new affordable homes are a much needed boost for hundreds of hard working people and we are on track to build 100,000 homes by 2016, helping 50,000 Londoners into home ownership. This scheme also provides construction jobs and work opportunities, with Pocket reinvesting their profits to produce as many moderate cost homes as possible over the next decade."
The Mayor's effort to get new affordable housing built stands in contrast to criticism he received this week for his fixing of affordable rents in the capital at 80% of market prices.
Labour has said that Johnson's changes to the London Plan spell the "death of truly affordable housing" in the city.
Marc Vlessing, CEO of Pocket, said: “This is a landmark moment for Londoners and demonstrates the Mayor of London’s real determination to tackle the chronic lack of affordable housing across London and provide much needed relief to generation rent. It takes a typical London buyer at least eight years to save a 20% deposit on a flat, and even longer for those on modest incomes.
“We have developed our bid in close partnership with a number of local authorities who have taken a bold and innovative approach to identifying land that they can release for development. As a result, Pocket homes will now be available across many London boroughs and over the next 10 years we expect some 5,000 more London residents will be able to buy their own home outright, at an affordable price, and crucially in locations in close proximity to where they work and spend their time.
“Hard-working Londoners deserve the option of owning their own home, and we are hugely excited about the opportunity to build so many new Pocket homes across the capital.”