New figures from the Homes and Communities Agency confirms fears that affordable housing starts are down on last year in London – by a dramatic 70 per cent. This unacceptable fall comes at a time of an assault on the very idea of affordable housing by the Government, with an announcement earlier this month that property developers could be let off the hook on their obligations to build affordable housing, which is often required to mitigate the impact of their for-profit projects, in some situations.
It is unacceptable that the Mayor has allowed affordable house building to fall so dramatically.
In response to the news, I issued a version of this press release:
Building of affordable housing stops under Boris
There has been a 70 per cent drop in the building of affordable housing in London since last year, new figures reveal.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) figures show affordable housing starts falling dramatically during the first year of the new affordable housing programme. This is the first negotiated by Boris Johnson, the previous programme was negotiated by his predecessor.
The HCA statistics follow the publication of figures last month by the Department for Communities and Local Government that showed only 780 new affordable homes were started in the capital between April and June 2012 – the lowest quarterly figure for a decade.
Labour London Assembly Member Nicky Gavron said:
“Boris Johnson has claimed great credit for administering the affordable housing programme he inherited from his predecessor. Now it’s clear his own record is less than impressive, with affordable housing starts are falling off a cliff.
We are in the midst of a housing crisis in London, exacerbated by a chronic shortage of affordable housing . What is the Mayor doing for these people?
It is unacceptable that the Mayor has allowed affordable house building to fall so dramatically. There was 70 per cent drop in the building of affordable housing in London since last year.
“The Mayor’s failure to build more affordable housing is contributing to the rising cost of living, where private sector rents increased by 8.8 per cent for the poorest Londoners last year and energy and transport fares are increasing. Londoners need the Mayor to get a grip of the new programme and to get delivering new affordable homes.”
HCA and DCLG affordable housing start statistics can be found here: http://www.homesandcommunities.co.uk/sites/default/files/aboutus/national_housing_statistics_june_2012_tables_rev1.xls and here: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/2145739.xls
Homelessness and council waiting list figures can be found here: http://england.shelter.org.uk/professional_resources/housing_databank/results?area_selection=H%2C00AB%2C00AC%2C00AD%2C00AE%2C00AG%2C00AF%2C00AA%2C00AH%2C00AJ%2C00AK%2C00AL%2C00AM%2C00AN%2C00AP%2C00AQ%2C00AR%2C00AS%2C00AT%2C00AU%2C00AW%2C00AX%2C00AY%2C00AZ%2C00BB%2C00BC%2C00BA%2C00BD%2C00BE%2C00BF%2C00BG%2C00BH%2C00BJ%2C00BK&data_selection=A1%2CA6&selected_min=2000&selected_max=2012