London housebuilding could drop by a third, housing associations warn

Some of London's biggest housing associations have warned that budget pressures could cause housebuilding to fall by a third.

Associations including Peabody, Southern Housing and Notting Hill Genesis issued the warning to the Levelling Up, Housing & Communities Select Committee that housebuilding in the capital could plummet without government intervention.

Submitting evidence as part of the G15 group of housing associations, they said housebuilding resources and capacity were under 'significant strain' and that they were planning to reduce development by a third because of a 'funding squeeze'.

Among the challenges facing the sector are the increasing costs on safety works and achieving net zero. These are in addition to the impact of high inflation and rising energy costs.

G15's Chair and Chief Executive of housing association MTVH, Geeta Nanda, said housing associations had seen a loss of £6.6 billion in resources for investment since 2016 due to government rent policy changes, and over 60 per cent cuts to funding for new affordable homes.

"Investment in existing homes is rightly the first priority," she said, "but without housing associations' contribution to building new affordable homes, issues like overcrowding won't get dealt with.

"Housing associations build almost one in four new homes, and if we reduce our programmes to meet costs like building safety and retrofit, I am really worried that the gap won't be filled and it's people in dire housing need that will suffer.

"A long-term plan for social housing is desperately needed. At its heart must be certainty on rent policy and a commitment to funding to build many more of the most affordable homes that are desperately needed."

This inquiry spearheaded by DLUHC is exploring the demands on the social housing sector, including issues surrounding building new homes and retrofitting existing stock, as well as remediation work on cladding and addressing damp and mould.

The G15, which is made up of 11 members, said it completed the construction of 11,527 new homes last year in the capital.

This article originally appeared on Architects' Journal

Tags (Specialism/Topics)