The Mayor of London has announced a fund of £200m in a bid to ensure the continued building of affordable housing, despite the impact of Brexit.
With negotiations still ongoing, it is said the housing market is already being affected, with reports of falling sales and uncertainty over house prices.
Housing associations are said to currently be receiving low levels of funding from the government, relying heavily on income from selling new market-price homes to help subsidise new affordable homes.
The announced funding will be offered to help housing associations switch homes from market sale or shared ownership to homes for rent at social or intermediate rent levels, lower than market rent.
The Mayor has said that he believes the impact of Brexit uncertainty makes this extra funding essential, though he has warned it will stretch City Hall’s affordable homes funding “to its limit”.
The support received by individual housing associations will depend on the schemes in their pipeline and those underway, with funding said to only be available for homes starting in this calendar year.
In a statement, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “At City Hall, we are building record numbers of new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes.
“We must not let the government’s chaotic mishandling of Brexit undermine our plans.
“That’s why it is right we push our funding to its very limits to keep housing associations building more affordable housing through the ongoing uncertainty – and it’s even more important given the government totally failed to address my concerns when I recently raised them.
“Whatever happens with Brexit, Ministers must at the very least match my support, and ensure we can keep building the homes Londoners need over the coming years.”
Helen Evans, CEO of Network Homes and Vice-Chair of G15, added: “The current market uncertainty limits our ability to generate cross-subsidy to reinvest in affordable homes, so this strong, positive action to address that is welcome.
“If enough additional funding is made available, we will be able to continue to commit to new developments and increase the levels of affordable homes we are building.
“We look forward to engaging with the GLA to secure this.”