The Homes and Communities Agency throws ailing London schemes a £135 million lifeline in the first phase of a major housing rescue package
Architects received a major boost this week after it emerged that five financially imperilled housing schemes in London will receive a £93 million lifeline from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
Under the rescue package, revealed by the AJ last week (AJ 29.02.09), 1,500 affordable homes will be delivered at the five sites, which include the Heart of East Greenwich scheme by Make and St Andrew’s Hospital in Tower Hamlets by Allies and Morrison (see table at foot of story).
A further £42 million has been allocated to London & Quadrant housing group to deliver 1,400 affordable homes for rent at a number of sites across London.
HCA’s regional director for London, David Lunts, said that the agency hoped to announce the next tranche of projects that it would be supporting at the start of May, and that more than £1 billion of HCA cash could be made available to support housing schemes in the next two years.
The money would be used to deliver affordable housing for rent that could be purchased at a later date. ‘It’s very difficult at the moment to get developer finance to build,’ said Lunts. ‘In some cases, developers need help with infrastructure funding to make schemes viable that don’t work in the short term.’
Meanwhile, details have emerged of other schemes where the HCA is looking to step in. These include Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ 44-storey 360 London tower in Elephant and Castle, and a large mixed-use scheme including more than 900 new homes at Anglia Ruskin University’s Chelmsford site, designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects.