Challenging Boris Johnson at Mayor’s Question Time
At last week’s Mayor’s Question Time, I challenged Boris Johnson to get stalled schemes moving without sacrificing affordable housing.
There are 210,000 potential homes in London with planning permission but which aren’t being built.
In March the Mayor blamed affordable housing requirements for making schemes unviable. He says this to justify his support for the Government’s recent reform allowing developers to force renegotiations of the agreements requiring them to build affordable housing in exchange for planning permission.
Boris stuck to the script last week at Mayor’s Question Time, even after I pointed out that his own report fails to identify affordable housing requirements as a reason for the delays. In fact, the real reason developers aren’t building is that they make more money by holding onto the land than by building on it.
If, as the Mayor’s report indicates, affordable housing requirements aren’t stopping these schemes getting off the ground, then the Mayor’s support for renegotiating the requirements is all pain and no gain: he’s happy to watch developers’ profits go up while affordable housing goes down.