'Death of affordable housing in London'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Finance, Housing
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Labour members of the London Assembly have heralded the "death of truly affordable housing" in the capital, as attempts to block Boris Johnson's changes to the London Plan were thwarted.
Assembly members had hoped that a vote yesterday would derail the Mayor's plans to set affordable housing rents at 80% of the market rate.
However, the proposals to stop Johnson's schemes were voted down by the Assembly's Conservative councillors.
The Assembly's Labour Group has warned that the Mayor's changes will mean a family will need a salary of £78,743 to rent an ‘affordable home' in Camden; the median family income in the borough is £33,000.
Likewise, the Group claims that a two-bed flat in Westminster will need a household income of £80,000 to rent, with the median currently £40,000. And a three-bed flat in Islington, where the median is £31,000, will need an income of £83,497.
Labour Group planning spokesperson Nicky Gavron AM said: “Today’s vote is a hammer blow and signals the death of new truly affordable housing in London. It is a complete travesty that the Conservatives on the Assembly have supported Boris’ reckless changes. London boroughs of all political persuasions are against the Mayor’s plan.
“Conservative members of the Assembly have chosen to please the Mayor ahead of listening to the wishes of their local councils and against the best interests of their constituents. Staggeringly, four of the eight Members that voted in support of the Mayor today actually sit on councils that have written to the Mayor to oppose the policy – yet they have today sided with the Mayor and supported his policies.”
“Combined with the welfare reforms the Mayor’s changes will make huge swathes of inner London even more unaffordable than they already are. Today’s vote will contribute to the ghettoization of our city and put intolerable strain on a range of already overburdened local services in outer London.
"They have effectively given up on ordinary Londoners on modest incomes by making it harder for them to find a home that is affordable.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of Westminster's Labour Group, said: “The Mayor’s changes to the London Plan will push affordable housing out of the reach of the many Westminster residents on low incomes.
"This will also drive up rent, increase land prices and further distort Westminster’s housing market, making most of Westminster even more unaffordable. This a dreadful decision for Westminster that even Westminster Conservatives have opposed and will make the city even more of a 'playground for the rich'.”