north Westminster
north Westminster

Westminster City Council’s Labour administration is taking action to ensure cheaper intermediate
rents (a form of affordable housing available to key workers and local residents not eligible for social
housing) in future housing developments.

We have launched the final consultation on our draft ‘Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)’, ahead of implementation in the early autumn that sets out how we plan to achieve this. The new affordable housing SPD sets out clear expectations for property developers in Westminster ensuring that new developments properly contribute to affordable housing delivery.

For too long in Westminster under the Conservatives this type of affordable housing stretched the definition of ‘affordable’ to breaking point. Developers would routinely be allowed to build their often meagre affordable housing contributions at rents affordable only to households earning 90k per year- well above average incomes. Even the council’s own preferred approach to intermediate rents was significantly targeted at those with above average incomes.

Under Labour Westminster’s new policy will argue that new housing available at intermediate rents (for which key workers have priority) should be more affordable to households on lower to average incomes, those earning between £25,000 and £60,000. Separately we are also taking steps to give key workers and local residents greater priority within such scheme. Through this new policy the council is also discouraging the development shared ownership which isn’t suitable for central London, due to high costs, unfair responsibilities and limited opportunities for residents to be able to afford to buy the whole property.

This new intermediate rent policy is just the latest in a series of reforms designed to increase the supply of affordable housing and make it cheaper. Through our ‘Truly Affordable Housing Strategy’ and changes to the Church Street and Ebury Regenerations (with £60m additional investment from Sadiq Khan as a result of finally holding residents ballots) we have refocused the council’s own building programme on delivering over 1000 new council homes for social rent by 2026. We are also halfway through a partial revision to Westminster’s City Plan, due to complete in early 2025, that will (amongst other things) ensure new developments contribute a higher proportion of council homes for social rent than the previous Tory plans.

Cllr Adam Hug, Leader of the Council, said: “The changes proposed in this new guidance document aim to create more truly affordable housing. For too long, too many intermediate rent flats in Westminster were only available for households on above average incomes, stretching the concept of affordable housing beyond recognition. We are changing that to make intermediate rents cheaper so that key workers and local residents on lower and average incomes can afford to build a future in our City.
This new guidance, along with ongoing revisions to the City Plan and our plans to deliver over 1,000 new council homes for social rent on our own land by 2026, will help build more homes that meets the needs of the people of Westminster.” 

Have your say on the new policy here 

Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search