15 Jan

New £10 million injection for London homes

New £10 million injection for London homes

The mayor of London has revealed further funding in a scheme designed to boost the number of affordable homes in the capital.

Boris Johnson confirmed a £10 million loan will be granted to Big Issue Invest - a project that renovates empty properties into affordable homes.

The funding will be provided over the next decade and will ensure a number of empty buildings across London will be made available for people to rent or part buy. In total, 400 new properties could be created in the city and it is expected to provide new employment opportunities in the construction sector as well.

Money to finance the initiative is coming from the mayor's Housing Covenant, which aims to support housing schemes that focus on affordable housing, as well as boosting the creation of new homes.

Recent years have seen a decline in the number of empty homes across London as demand for properties in the capital continues to increase. It is estimated that the total number of vacant buildings is now around 0.7 per cent - the lowest level since the 1970s, with around 5,000 occupied via government housing programmes since 2008.

"With the huge demand for housing it's essential we get empty properties back into use, which is why I'm helping innovative projects renovate them back into much needed affordable homes," explained Mr Johnson.

He added: "Big Issue Invest are masters of boosting community social enterprise and delivering key employment and training skills to the homeless and unemployed people who need our extra support. This funding sits alongside my affordable home programme which is on track to deliver 100,000 new low cost homes across the city."

The Big Issue Group's chairman, Nigel Kershaw, welcomed the new funding that will have a large impact on poverty in the region.

Over the past decade, the group has invested around £27 million in more than 330 social enterprises across the UK, benefitting close to two million people.ADNFCR-1222-ID-801770317-ADNFCR

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