The conversion of family social rent housing to ‘affordable rent’ must be discouraged

Following Tuesday’s meeting of the London Assembly Planning and Housing Committee (Tuesday 5 April) and its investigation into the future of affordable housing in London, Nicky Gavron AM, Chair of the Committee and Labour Group Spokesperson for Planning and Housing on the London Assembly has published the following statement:

It is vital that the London Plan target for the proportion of social rent to be built annually remains based on the assessment of need provided by the Strategic Housing Market Assessment, and that the target in the London Plan is not dropped or replaced by a target which relates to the new so called ‘affordable rent’ model which allows rents to be at 80% of market rent and which will not be affordable by lower income households.

It is important that about 40% of new social rented housing be family housing in accordance with the need identified in the Strategic housing market assessment.

It is a concern that the basis for agreeing contracts with the Housing Associations for providing affordable housing for the next four years under the new funding arrangements is being devised before there is a revised Mayoral Housing Strategy. The conversion of existing family social rent housing to ‘affordable rent’ must be discouraged, as there is a desperate shortage of family sized  social rented housing in London and we cannot afford to lose any of the limited number of homes we have left to the higher rent regime.

We also heard yesterday that the target of ‘3 bed plus’ is being interpreted literally as 3 bedroom homes, when the greatest need is for 4 or 5 bedroom homes. This must be addressed immediately to safeguard family housing.

You can watch a webcast from Tuesday’s meeting by following this link.

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About nickygavron

Former Deputy Mayor for London, London Assembly Member, Chair of Planning Committee, and Labour Spokesperson for Planning
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