With no major help coming in the Autumn Budget, the London housing industry – public, private and third sector – is getting on with business, with nearly 180,000 homes in the pipeline through local government models alone.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called this “the most anti-London Budget for a generation”, with lack of support for affordable housing on his list of charges.
Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget did include £44bn in UK-wide capital funding, loans and guarantees, but some of that is recycled and over half is in the form of guarantees.
The bright spots – especially given that the South East has been reliant on a few major players since the financial crisis – include £8bn in guarantees to underwrite risk for smaller firms, £1.5bn in loans to SMEs who struggle to raise funds, and a focus on build-to-rent housing, a good fit for a world city.
While more Budget help was anticipated, the London housing sector has quietly been working together to build homes without central government, through a range of new delivery models.
A report released 22 November by GVA and Future of London, Making Housing Delivery Models work for London, identifies the models – council house-building, public-private partnerships and community-led housing – being used across the capital, what they’re delivering, and how to make the most of them for Londoners.
Nearly 180,000 homes are in the pipeline through these models, with an average of 33% affordable. Social- rented provision varies by model and area, with council- led initiatives delivering the most affordable/social, as well as most small-site and SME opportunities.
The report also assess what must be done to get all those homes off the drawing board – and to add more – from building skills at cash-strapped councils to securing public land before policy announcements hike up its value.
“We undertook this work with GVA because it was clear that some councils were choosing delivery models that weren’t the right fit,” said Future of London Chief Executive Lisa Taylor. “Local authorities need long-term revenue to deliver services, plus housing focused on those in need, community facilities and other local priorities. They have to find the right partner and share risk to do that, or manage housebuilding programmes on their own – if they have the funds for it.
“One issue can be that with slashed budgets, many councils don’t have enough people who can negotiate and run housing programmes, and there’s not enough understanding of priorities between public- and private- sector partners. We’re trying to help with that.”
GVA Director Oliver Maury, who led the data analysis work, said:
“As more of our public-sector clients play an active role in solving the housing crisis, it is important to understand the nature, scale and issues around active housing delivery models being applied to public land.”
Though focused in part on public-private large-scale delivery, the report also includes community-led housing. There are 3,600 homes in the works as part of co-housing, Community Land Trusts and similar mechanisms, and the GLA has established a Community-Led Housing Hub to support these locally-led efforts.