11 new Housing Zones announced as Mayor opens Soho affordable development

  • 11 major regeneration Housing Zones launched in ten boroughs
  • London will now get 77,000 new homes from all 31 Housing zones
  • Mayor officially opens Soho affordable housing development, part of the 100,000 affordable homes the mayor is delivering by the end of his term

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has announced 11 new Housing Zones that will provide 24,554 new homes and create new neighbourhoods across the capital.

The Mayor invested an additional £200m to designate the final 11 zones, which stretch from Havering to Kingston and Enfield and bring the total number planned in London to 31. The aim is to boost housing supply, stimulate building and produce the new low cost homes London needs to meet its growing population. The 31 zones are estimated to deliver 77,000 new homes, of which 34 per cent will be affordable, alongside transformational regeneration of key town centres, train station hubs and housing estates.

The Mayor made the announcement as he officially opened a new affordable housing development in the heart of London’s West End. Trenchard House, spanning across Broadwick & Hopkins Street, is a former derelict Metropolitan Police hostel, on Greater London Authority acquired land released by the Mayor. The site has undergone a £54 million redevelopment to build 78 new homes, including 65 affordable one to three bedroom apartments.

The affordable apartments are intermediate rent with some offered at 75 per cent discount to market rates. Exact rents are based on resident’s incomes, and many of them work night shifts in the theatres and bars surrounding Soho and will now be within walking distance of their jobs.

The site, which had lain vacant for almost 13 years, is one of the 414 hectares of land transferred to the Mayor with every surplus site owned by City Hall now released for development. The intermediate homes are part of the 100,000 affordable homes the Mayor is on track to deliver by the end of his term.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP said:

“Meeting the unprecedented demand for housing after 30 years of historic failure to build new homes is a critical issue affecting the capital. That is why I have led an enormous programme of regeneration with my 31 housing zones that will transform communities across London, creating nearly 80,000 new homes, plus new transport hubs and schools.

“This fantastic new housing development in the heart of the West End is delivering a life line to hard working local people who were priced out of Soho and desperate to reside nearby their places of work. These apartments are just some of the 100,000 new affordable homes being delivered over my two mayoral terms. This site forms part of more than 400 hectares of developable land the GLA inherited and which I have now released every inch of, to ensure as many homes as possible are built throughout London.”

Dolphin Living have partnered with Barratt Homes to provide the development and have worked with Westminster Council to ensure that the intermediate rent homes are prioritised for local people on housing waiting lists. The lower rents mean that people earning the London Living Wage can rent properties (minimum annual incomes of £24,000). Some three bedroom apartments (with a rent of £202 per week) represent a 75 per cent discount from local market rents.

Jon Gooding, Chief Executive of Dolphin Living said:

“We all recognise that there is a growing disconnect between wages within central London, and market rent, and we at Dolphin think it is crucial that we continue to provide good quality rental accommodation for those workers who keep this city alive. It is for this reason that we’ve sought to ensure that we have new homes to rent at discounts of up to 75 per cent of the market rate, and ones that will be affordable for couples earning the new national living wage.

“This scheme has been a fantastic opportunity for Dolphin Living to deliver genuinely affordable housing for working people, on a site formerly owned by the public sector, which had lain dormant for years in one of London’s most high profile cultural and social quarters. 2 Hopkins Street provides a rare, but a fantastic opportunity for those working in, and around the area of Soho to reside here as well.”

New resident Taber has just moved in with her partner, she said:

“We couldn’t be more pleased as we are now both a few minutes’ walk from work and feel extremely lucky to have found such a lovely, spacious flat in the middle of Soho which despite the extraordinary prices of the local housing market, is actually affordable for us.”

As part of the Mayor’s commitment to double housebuilding, London’s Housing Zones will unlock massive regeneration on hundreds of hectares of brownfield land across the capital. The special status has been awarded to areas identified and packaged up by local authorities. It removes all unnecessary planning restrictions, combined with the funds to maximise development, and fast track homes and supporting infrastructure.