2 September 2011
I am writing concerning your article on the Guardian professional website, published on 1 September 2011.
You claim that, “the mayor is on course to deliver 50,000 affordable homes by April 2012.” You go on to say that “around 54,000 completions” are expected over the “next four years”. This implies that these 54,000 homes are in addition to the 50,000.
Can you please confirm that this is not the case and that the 54,000 includes the figure given by Alan Benson at the April Planning and Housing Committee of 16,000 homes that will have been completed between April 2011 and April 2012; 16,000 that you will have already counted towards your 50,000 target? If so, can you therefore outline how many new affordable homes you actually plan to deliver between April 2012 and April 2015?
I am extremely concerned at the way the mayor’s office has apparently double counted this information. At best it is a lazy, yet very important, error. At worst you have blatantly misled Londoners on your housing delivery.
As you rightly point out, the key housing challenge in London is supply. This is why the previous government provided £5 billion for housing in London – a record budget. But your misleading use of statistics is not “providing leadership”, as you claim. It undermines the challenges we face, and this apparent sleight of hand does nothing to reassure Londoners we are delivering what the city needs.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Nicky Gavron AM