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‘Affordable housing’ on the rise in London, says GLA

Affordable housing / Shutterstock_509223637

Figures from the Greater London Authority (GLA) reveal that availability of affordable housing is on the rise in London, with new council housing at its highest for 34 years.

The statistics from the GLA reveal that 14,544 affordable homes were started in 2018/19, exceeding the target of 14,000 agreed with government ministers.

Of the 14,544 homes started, 3,991 homes were built at social rent level, and 1,916 were council homes. This was more than in any year since 1984/85.

The total number is more than double the 7,189 homes that were started in the final year of the previous mayoralty in 2015/16.

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan is investing £1 billion into building 14,700 new council homes, which includes 11,000 social rented homes, over the next three years. He has secured a total of £4.8 billion from government to start building 116,000 new homes in the capital by 2022.

Khan said: “These record-breaking figures show that focusing on building council and social rented homes for Londoners is the right way to tackle the capital’s housing crisis.

“My Building Council Homes for Londoners programme has made huge progress already – with more council homes started than in any year since 1985. Councils are beginning to build again after decades of their hands being tied behind their backs – but national government needs to match our ambition and determination to deliver the homes Londoners so urgently need.”

He added: “We currently receive only a fraction of the affordable housing investment needed in London. Ministers must make a real step change in the funding and powers we have in London if we are to truly turn around the capital’s housing crisis.”

Andrew Boff, housing spokesman for the GLA Conservatives, has questioned Khan’s figures.

He said:  “Early on in his mayoralty, Sadiq Khan was given £4.82 billion by the government in order to build 116,000 homes by April 2022. We are now half way through this programme, yet the mayor has only started 34,515 new homes – a meagre 30 per cent of his overall target.

“Questions have to be asked about whether the mayor’s figures can be trusted. Khan has today admitted that his stats from 2016/17 were wrong and we know that 10 per cent of the affordable housing starts in 2017/18 were actually restarts from the previous year.

“Putting statistics aside, Londoners know first-hand that our city’s housing crisis is getting worse, not better. For too many young Londoners home ownership remains an impossible dream, while a lack of family-sized homes means that families are increasingly being driven out of our great city.”

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