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London's 'affordable' housing target systems are failing, say councillors

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London's 'affordable' housing target systems are failing, say councillors

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing

London London

An overwhelming majority of London councillors believe the current system of setting 'affordable' housing targets is failing to deliver the homes the capital needs, a survey has revealed.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by property communications specialists Quatro, found that 82% of London councillors questioned believe the affordable housing target system is not delivering.

It was revealed yesterday that the same survey found that 86% of councillors think that first time buyers can no longer afford a property in their ward.

Under the current system of setting 'affordable' housing targets by local authorities, private developers are required to provide a percentage of homes within their housing development towards the borough’s 'affordable' housing, under section 106 agreements.

The poll also found that:

• Asked which factors are behind the shortage of housing in London, 45% of councillors cited UK buy to let investors and 41% suggested that overseas investors are causing the problem.

• 33% of councillors believe overseas immigration has had an impact on housing – and 26% believed that UK citizens moving to London had caused the shortage.

• 63% agreed that the government's help to buy scheme had made property in the capital more expensive.

Gary Pleasants, Quatro director, said: “Councillors are now saying what many in the development industry have thought for a while - the current system of setting affordable housing targets is not delivering. Given the desperate need to boost affordable housing in London we need to find a way of addressing this failing system urgently.

“Local politicians recognise the housing difficulties in London, and many feel that overseas and UK investors are fuelling house price inflation which is making it harder for first time buyers to get on to the housing ladder.

Combined with supply issues and other inflationary factors such as the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, there is a real need for the government, local authorities and developers to work together to find a credible solution.”

YouGov completed online interviews with 201 London councillors, representing all of London’s boroughs.

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