LONDON built fewer than 7,000 affordable homes last year, with more than a third of boroughs managing to offer under 100 new homes for people who can’t afford to buy or even rent on the open market.
The Government figures fall far below official estimates of the number of subsidised homes needed. According to City Hall, London should build 66,000 new homes every year to keep pace with demand and some 60 per cent — about 40,000 — should be affordable. The worst-performing councils of the year include Kensington & Chelsea, where just seven affordable homes were completed in the 12 months to September last year according to the Government’s new homes bonus allocation report, which calculates funding for new housebuilding.
Merton managed to produce nine affordable homes in the same period. The most productive borough was Tower Hamlets, where 1,085 were delivered.
Across London, the report found the total number of affordable homes delivered was 6,762 — an increase of almost 18 per cent compared with the 5,734 during the same period a year before, but still far below what is required to solve the capital’s housing shortage.
Affordable homes are either built or bought by councils — and companies set up by councils — or housing associations, or provided by housebuilders as a planning condition for being able to build new homes.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants developers to designate half of new homes as affordable. In reality, councils attempt, with varying degrees of success, to squeeze them to provide about 25 per cent.
Prime location: planners are expected this week to approve 213 new riverfront homes at the South Bank’s London Television Centre, with just 22 “affordable”