'Death of social housing in London'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government
Figures released yesterday show that the number of social housing starts in London has fallen from 11,329 in 2010/11 to just 1,672 last year - leading one London Assembly member to declare the "death of affordable housing" in the capital.
The statistics from the Greater London Authority (GLA) also reveal that the number of part buy, part rent housing starts also fell over the same period.
The number of properties started at the government’s new 'affordable rent' – where rents can be up to 80 percent of market rents - was 4,936.
London Assembly Labour Group Leader, Len Duvall AM, said: “These figures confirm that we are witnessing the death of truly affordable housing in London. With over 360,000 households on council waiting lists, huge overcrowding problems and a cost of living crisis hitting families and the vulnerable, Boris’ record is a complete disgrace. To afford the government’s new 80 percent ‘affordable’ rents a family would need to earn £100,000 a year in parts of London, like Camden. That doesn’t seem overly affordable to me.
“It is staggering that the number of social housing starts has collapsed to this extent, at a time when Londoners on modest incomes are really struggling. We are seeing a crisis at all levels of the housing market, whether you are trying to buy or rent, and Boris is making things worse.
“Boris says he will give no money to build new social rented housing. He is also trying to use the planning system to block London’s 32 borough councils from finding ways of delivering new social-rented housing themselves. This is a direct assault on local democracy. Instead, he is forcing rents of up to 80 percent of the local market rate on new so-called “affordable” housing, which in many parts of London is beyond the means of those who need the homes.”