Sadiq Khan claims success in building ‘double’ the council housing achieved across the rest of England

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The mayor says building has started on 23,000 council homes in London since 2018.

London mayor Sadiq Khan claims that by hitting a landmark council housing target, London is building twice the number of council homes achieved by the rest of England combined.

In 2018, the mayor set a goal of building 10,000 new council homes by 2022, and then set a target of 20,000 new council homes by 2024.

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He now claims to have reached that figure a year early with 23,000 council homes started across London over the last five years.

The Labour mayor is calling on the government to show the same scale of ambition as London, by backing a new funding programme exclusively for council homes.

City Hall analysis says that 65,000 new council homes would be available in England if the rest of the country were building council housing at the same rate per head of population as London.

Mr Khan claims that only 4,325 council homes were started in the rest of England in 2021/22, declaring it a “national scandal”. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says it does not recognise the number.

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The mayor announced the latest figures on a visit to the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent.

Since April 2016, Brent Council has started around 2,000 homes, supported with cash from the Mayor’s affordable housing programmes.

The mayor of London visits residents at the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent.The mayor of London visits residents at the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent.
The mayor of London visits residents at the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent. | Credit: GLA

“I think the targets the government is setting in relation to affordable housing aren’t stretching enough,” the mayor told LondonWorld.

“I ditched their definition of what an affordable home is.

“I think a home that you buy for half a million pounds isn’t affordable, a home that you pay rent of 80% market value isn’t affordable.

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“An affordable home is one where you pay council rent, where you pay a London living rent, a third of average earnings or you purchase by shared ownership.

“There’s no quick fix to London’s current housing crisis, but I’m hugely proud at the progress we’re making delivering a new era in council homebuilding in the capital.”

Sadiq Khan visits the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent, with Dawn Butler MP and Brent Council leader Muhammed ButtSadiq Khan visits the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent, with Dawn Butler MP and Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt
Sadiq Khan visits the Stonebridge Hillside and Milton Avenue scheme in Brent, with Dawn Butler MP and Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt | Credit: GLA

The City Hall Conservatives have accused the mayor of “gaslighting Londoners” with this target.

Andrew Boff AM, City Hall Conservatives housing spokesperson, said: "This is a case of Sadiq Khan marking his own homework.

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“The target that matters is the one he had received from the government with a record amount of funding, and unfortunately he is 18,000 homes short of achieving this.

“This invented target is just gaslighting Londoners, trying to confuse them and distract them from his failure to build the homes that young Londoners need."

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson said: “We do not recognise the GLA’s figures... We have contacted the GLA for clarification.

“Our latest published statistics show that in 2021/2022 over 43,000 affordable homes were started in England outside of London, compared to just under 20,000 in London."

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