Failed again

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Home & Property | News - Find Ruth Bloom­field’s full story at home­sand­prop­

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”

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