Sadiq Khan has revealed a huge shake up to London’s house building rules. This includes a plan to speed up the viability process for housing development schemes that include at least 35% affordable housing. These are the biggest changes to housing policy in the capital since the mayor took office.
Khan’s aim is to achieve real progress on the road to fix London’s housing crisis. Among the changes, developments including 35% affordable housing in their plans will have permission to go ahead with building works without having to go through viability checks. Schemes that do not offer 35% affordable housing will have to comply with the regular viability process and will also have to make the resulting assessments available to the public.
It is hoped that these plans will make land cheaper due to the fact that the 35% threshold will become “embedded” in developers' future strategies. The mayor also believes plans to ensure public visibility will improve transparency and trust in the system.
As well as the affordability threshold, the new plans also require that 30% of any affordable homes in a development should be available at London Affordable Rent – a new idea to help those who are most in need. For example, a two bed property offered priced 'London Affordable Rent’ would cost a maximum of around £153 per week under the scheme.