Mayor of London signs first Captial Grant Agreement from £38m Community Housing Fund

Local campaigners for affordable housing are celebrating as the GLA signed a funding agreement with London Community Land Trust for over £2m. The agreement will help facilitate the development of up to 40 genuinely and permanently affordable homes on Cable Street, Tower Hamlets, a Transport for London owned site won by London CLT through the Mayor of London’s Small Sites x Small Builders programme.

The funding is for the predevelopment and construction stages of the project. The announcement follows a campaign by local London CLT members and groups that are part of national charity Citizens UK, with local organisations such as St-George-in-the-East, Shadwell leading the effort.

The site will be 100 per cent genuinely and permanently affordable Community Land Trust (CLT) homes. Each home will be sold at a price linked to local incomes and based on the principle that no one should spend more than a third of their income on their home. At St Clement’s, London CLT’s first site, also in Tower Hamlets, this meant selling homes at around one third of market rate. Residents sign a contract promising to sell on the home at a price linked to incomes in future, so CLT homes remain affordable not just for the first residents, but for future generations. Homes will be allocated through a fair, robust and transparent process according to their need and strength of connection to the local area.

The funding for Cable Street is being provided through City Hall’s Community Housing Fund. This fund aims to help Londoners to be more involved in planning and delivering new homes through a wide range of ownership, occupancy and management models including (but not limited to) Community Land Trusts (CLTs), co-operatives, and co-housing. The Mayor has publicly committed to supporting the community-led housing sector to grow, setting out an ambition in The London Housing Strategy to work with community-led organisations to identify a pipeline of schemes by 2021, that has capacity to deliver at least 1,000 homes.

Sarah-Emily Mutch, Co-Chair of the Cable Street Community Steering Group said: “when I got involved 5 years ago, I didn’t let myself believe we would get this far but I am amazed by the power that we have as a community that acts together. We’ve journeyed from disused land and an idea to building truly affordable homes that will provide safe secure accommodation for families in Shadwell for a hundred years and I’m excited about where we can go next.”

Deputy Mayor of London for Housing, Tom Copley said: “At City Hall, we are proud to support community-led housing. It is great to see that London Community Land Trust will be building 100 per cent affordable housing on this site in Tower Hamlets, which will make a huge difference to the local community.

It’s vital Londoners can be part of the process of providing new homes to address London’s housing shortage, so I’m delighted that we have been able to support these plans for the site at Cable street.”

Calum Green, Chief Executive of London said: “This is an important step by GLA to support community land trusts, and to help meet the Mayor of London’s target of 1,000 community-led homes in the pipeline by 2021. It shows that communities across the city are ready to lead the way in improving how we deliver genuinely affordable homes, to achieve more than just bouncing back after the Covid-19 pandemic.”