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Sadiq Khan praises Camden housebuilding: Mayor supports CIP programme as he opens new Abbey estate housing

PUBLISHED: 11:48 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:10 01 March 2019

The new homes on the Abbey estate are part of Camden's Community Investment Programme. Picture: Sam Volpe

The new homes on the Abbey estate are part of Camden's Community Investment Programme. Picture: Sam Volpe

Archant

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was on hand to open phase one of Camden’s Abbey regeneration project.

Sadiq Khan meets Cllrs Georgia Gould and Danny Beales with his deputy Mayor James Murray outside of the new Abbey Block. Picture: Sam VolpeSadiq Khan meets Cllrs Georgia Gould and Danny Beales with his deputy Mayor James Murray outside of the new Abbey Block. Picture: Sam Volpe

The Abbey project is one of the flagship elements of the council’s at times divisive Community Investment Programme (CIP), but the mayor was effusive in praising the scheme – and he actually called for Government funding to help scale it up.

The first section has now been opened. This includes 66 new council homes which have been funded by 75 homes for sale or private rent as part of the CIP.

Despite criticising housing associations who have struggled to sell private housing built to subsidise social homes, the mayor backed the CIP.

He said: “The cross-subsidy model works in certain circumstances. We need to scale it up.”

The Ben-Brik family will be moving in to the new block. Picture: Camden CouncilThe Ben-Brik family will be moving in to the new block. Picture: Camden Council

The Mayor’s Office have given Camden a £3.6m grant which – along with central government funding – means the council can bring forward phases two and three of the Abbey development, which will see another 100 homes.

Last October the mayor announced £30.8m in funding for Camden’s housebuilding programme.

Overall the scheme will deliver 241 new homes of which 102 will be council homes, 12 affordable homes and 127 for private sale.

Sadiq Khan added: “I’m not apologising for helping housebuilding councils like Camden. The money they get from the Government now is less than half in 2009/2010.”

“We need far more affordable homes to rent and to buy as well. Across London we need to be building between 60 and 70,000 homes a year.

He explained his

“People see the word affordable and think it’s a con. Nobody believes you. It was 80 per cent of market value for renting and for sale a home which costs £450,000

“I have deleted that dodgy definition.”

Cllr Danny Beales, who heads up regeneration strategy for Camden, told this newspaper: “We think we can deliver 2,000 new homes – and the only thing stopping us is the funding.”

Cllr Beales praised the mayor’s replacement of the affordable rent definition – 80 per cent of market rates – used previously.

He added: “These new council homes are going to Camden residents who need them most, giving them more space and a much better standard of living.”

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