London councils could turn over 22,000 empty garages into 16,000 one-bed homes, easing the affordable housing shortage.
According to research, 24 London boroughs collectively owned a total of 53,640 garages, of which 41% are lying empty.
As an individual borough, 57% of garage space in Greenwich is empty, which if converted could offer space for 1,396 flats.
The Borough of Newham had a lower proportion of empty garage space – 42% – but this could still provide 791 flats.
The research found that only 45% of rental garages are let to council authority tenants.
Lack of affordable housing stock has been a growing issue in London for many years now. In last November’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond stated that ‘the housing challenge’ would be met with a £2.3bn Housing Infrastructure Fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in areas where there is high demand.
London is set to receive £3.15 billion for 90,000 new houses, while a further £1.4 billion will be used to build 40,000 affordable homes.
Buying a home in London is out of reach for many first-time buyers. As demand continues to outstrip supply, these sort of measures – developing on land where garages are lying vacant – might be necessary.
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