Legal & General Affordable Homes has increased its development pipeline to 5,500 homes across the UK, with a gross asset value of nearly £1bn.

As well as this, L&G Affordable Homes has increased its team from five to 75 employees, with a plan to hire another 20 by the end of the year.

The subsidiary of Legal & General Capital has secured 1,000 new homes in the capital; most recently contracting on 174 affordable homes in Hammersmith and Fulham.

Half of these will be targeted to lower income households, in line with the council priority income groups.

The affordable housing is part of a 1,800 home scheme, redeveloping the former M&S distribution centre, which is due to hand over in mid 2022.

Other schemes in London include 76 homes in Hounslow, completing in August 2021; 213 affordable rented homes in Wembley; 90 affordable rented homes in Lambeth and 127 affordable rented and shared ownership homes in Tower Hamlets.

Across the rest of the country, L&G is bringing forward over 2,200 homes in the South East, 900 homes in the South West and 1,400 homes in the Midlands and the North.

Most recently, it handed over its first scheme in Doncaster to residents, as part of Doncaster Council’s five years housing delivery programme.

According to research, 7.6 million people in England had at least one major housing problem relating to overcrowding, affordability or poor quality housing going into COVID-19.

Compounded by the pandemic, one in three low-income earners have had to borrow money to pay their rent and the steep decline in social housing has led to huge increases in government welfare costs, as well as rising homelessness.

An estimated 1.4 million households remain on the waiting list for affordable homes in the UK.

Ben Denton, chief executive of Legal & General Affordable Homes, said: “The pandemic has affected every corner of our lives and had a major impact on what we need from our homes, workplaces and communities.

“In particular, it has brought into even sharper relief the urgent need to provide stable and affordable homes for millions of households on low incomes.

“Since launching two years ago, Legal & General Affordable Homes has grown its development pipeline to 5,500 homes throughout the country to help meet the needs of local communities.

“We remain committed to deploying institutional capital at scale to address one of our greatest societal failings.”