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Millions pledged to kick start London’s self-build industry –

£5m new funding for self-build and affordable homes on disused sites

The London Mayor has promised millions of pounds to help people build their own homes on redundant sites such as old laundries, garages and store sheds in London.

For the first time, £5m of funding for self-builders has been secured in the Mayor’s 2015/16 budget by GLA Conservative Gareth Bacon.

The cash is initially expected to support the building of about 150 homes on disused sites, and will be given to mainly subsidise construction costs. Bids to the GLA are open immediately.

GLA Conservative budget spokesman, Gareth Bacon:

Gareth-opinion“Today is a good day for aspiring home owners in London, who may struggle to gather hefty deposits. The Mayor’s new £5m funding for self-builders will be a huge help for the likes of young professionals and first time buyers, by giving them an opportunity to build homes on a shoestring budget. You can nowadays build a well-insulated, energy efficient home for as little as £50k. What self-builders need is the land to build on, and my team has already identified over 4,000 disused sites and spaces across just 13 boroughs of London, where these affordable homes can be built. It is these sorts of mass scale and innovative ideas which will help solve the Capital’s housing shortage. I will now work closely with the Mayor to nail down the exact bidding process and what the money can be used for.”

Nick Simpson, 33, works in architecture, and is a potential self-builder from Homerton:

“I’ve seriously considered building my own home and have found about 50 potential sites that I like across London. The main obstacle for me is the cost of land in this city. A small plot for one property can cost £200k near me in East London, so with building costs on top it's just not affordable to most people. This financial support will massively help people like me when it comes to getting onto the housing ladder, especially if I can use the money towards buying the land. It can’t come with too many strings attached either, particularly restrictions on reselling the property.”

The £5m funding commitment comes in response to the report: “Gap In The Market: Building new homes in London on disused sites” which sets out a large scale ‘disused site’ action plan – across all housing estates in every borough – which could deliver 10k homes in 10 years.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London:

“I am delighted to present this One Nation Conservative budget to the Assembly. Thanks to ideas from the GLA Conservatives, we are including for the first time a new fund for self-builders and the GLA will encourage bids to deliver affordable housing on infill development for at least £5m of GLA grant funding. I am also extending my High Streets Fund, part of my regeneration of outer boroughs since 2008, to help street markets, at the value of £1m. These changes are great for London.”

In a further boost to regeneration in the Capital, the Mayor has committed £1m in total to help five of the Capital’s street markets grow. This comes in response to GLA Conservative Gareth Bacon’s report ‘Market Stalled’, which highlights that one in five of London’s street markets could go out of business by 2030, and calls on them to be prioritised by the Mayor and GLA in the Capital’s regeneration projects.

The London Assembly is expected to approve the Mayor’s final budget for 2015/16 this morning at City Hall.

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