The City of London Corporation has fired the starting gun on its biggest housebuilding spree in 40 years after committing to building 3,700 new homes by 2025.
The City has traditionally been opposed to promoting residential development within its boundaries as it protects its status as the capital’s financial centre. It is also one of the few areas excluded from a recent change in rights that makes it easier to convert offices into homes.
However the corporation said the homes will be built outside of the Square Mile on land and housing estates in areas such as Islington, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham, Southwark, and Lambeth.
Some will be social housing while the rest will be offered at market rate. A spokesperson said it was unable to put a figure on how much it plans to invest. It is looking at a number of options as to how to best build the homes including working with developers, shared ownership and government schemes.
The City’s key decision-making body the Court of Common Council passed the policy document committing to the extra homes today and said will push ahead with the plans as soon as possible.
Policy chairman Mark Boleat said London’s housing crisis and rising rents has become a major threat to its economic competitiveness.
"Without truly affordable housing, we will no longer be able to maintain the diversity of London’s communities, which is an integral part of London’s success as a global city."
"When people think of City workers, they often think only of bankers and lawyers, but without security guards, receptionists and coffee-shop baristas, the City would cease to function. If workers on low to middle incomes cannot find affordable housing, then working in the City will cease to be an economically sensible option,” he said.
Research conducted by the City earlier this year found that in 2014, even the cheapest 10 per cent of houses were only affordable to the highest-earning 25 per cent of workers.