A deal has been agreed between Hammersmith & Fulham Council and Stanhope to build hundreds new homes through a 15-year joint venture.
The deal will form a 50:50 joint venture that will see the council and Stanhope jointly take forward housing development opportunities – beginning with the creation of more than 300 homes over the next three years.
Of these 300 new homes, around 120 will be affordable intermediate housing sold at a discounted market rate.
Two council-owned vacant residential sites in Fulham have already been identified as opportunities to create new homes for this first phase of the joint venture – Watermeadow Court Estate and Edith Summerskill House. The two sites have been empty for many years after being declared unfit for purpose and proving too costly to maintain. On the two sites, roughly double the original number of homes will be re-provided.
Any proceeds made by the council will be ploughed back into even more low cost housing for local residents.
The borough’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Andrew Johnson, said: “We’ve carefully considered how best to use our land assets more proactively – and firmly believe that joint ventures such as this can accelerate release of public land to help drive forward development, housing supply and economic growth.
“As well as delivering more than 100 low-cost-homes to buy, this partnership will also enable the council to ensure that the proceeds are ploughed back into similar schemes, estate improvements and reducing our £200million of housing debt.”
Critics of the joint venture disagree with the approach, saying that social housing should not be replaced by homes for market sale. However, the council says that the partnership with Stanhope will enable affordable housebuilding on a scale that would not otherwise be possible.
Approximately 31 per cent of homes in the borough are social rented – well above the London average. However, less than 2 per cent of the borough’s housing is affordable low-cost home-ownership. To date, more than 6,000 people have approached the council asking for low cost homes to buy.
In addition to the affordable homes in line to be built through the joint venture, H&F Council has also initiated a direct housebuilding programme to build 100 discounted new homes in the next 3 years. This includes a partnership to build ‘Rational House’ homes, off-site manufactured homes put together rapidly.