Government housing policies will price many families out of living on the Olympic Park, the chair and chief executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) have been warned.
Nicky Gavron, Labour’s housing spokesperson on the Assembly, has said Government’s flagship policy of increasing the cost of housing for low-income families will make the Olympic Park unaffordable to families with two or more children.
The warning comes amid growing concerns that London Mayor Boris Johnson intends to bump up the cost of living on the Olympic Park when he gains powers to introduce the ‘Affordable Rent’ model next year. The model will put up social housing rents to 80 per cent of local market rates.
Baroness Ford, chair of the OPLC, said she was unable to say at this stage how many of the 1,380 properties initially identified as ‘affordable’ would be affected by the new model.
She said the OPLC are still trying to understand the implications and economics of applying the new rent model to the Olympic Park.
Responsibility for deciding whether the model applies to the Olympic Park lies with the government and the Mayor, Baroness Ford said. The Mayor confirmed in January there was ‘no inherent reason’ why rents and tenure of affordable housing on the Park should be any different to other parts of London.
Calling for the Olympic Park to be exempted from the new model, Nicky Gavron said:
I am very concerned about this because it will affect the social fabric of these neighbourhoods. It will be incredibly difficult for families with two or more children looking for social rented accommodation to afford these rents when they are increased to 80 per cent.
“The Mayor should be doing everything in his power to ensure the Olympics deliver the legacy that was promised and that won us the bid in the first place. If he goes back on this promise he risks creating a no-go zone on the Olympic Park for hard-pressed families by pricing them out of its housing.
Nicky Gavron AM
Labour Group Spokesperson for Housing and Planning on the London Assembly
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