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11/07/2019

Khan is not delivering affordable family homes, say London Tories

Words: Laura Edgar
Family home / iStock-613765260

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been accused of not delivering enough affordable family-sized homes.

Statistics obtained by Andrew Boff AM, housing spokesman for the Conservatives on the Greater London Authority (GLA), suggest that delivery of such homes has fallen by 40 per cent.

In 2018/19, 13 per cent of GLA-funded housing starts were family-sized homes; this equates to 2,005 homes out of a total of 14,544 starts. In 2017/18, 2,892 of 12,555 housing starts were family-sized, 30 per cent more.

According to the statistics, there weren’t any homes with three or more bedrooms funded in some boroughs, including Richmond and Merton.

“For too many Londoners, our great city can only ever be a stepping stone rather than a permanent home. A severe lack of affordable decent-sized homes means that thousands of Londoners are driven out of our city as soon as they decide to start a family. Of those families which stay, far too many are in overcrowded accommodation."

Lasting damage will be done to the capital if it becomes a family-free zone, he claimed.

“The proportion of family-sized homes started by the mayor has nearly halved over the course of just a year, with some boroughs being deprived of a single GLA-funded family home in 2018/19.

“Against this backdrop, it is extraordinary that Sadiq Khan has decided to remove a family-sized homes target from his housing strategy. Make no mistake, this severe drop in the number of homes has come about as a result of this senseless decision to deprioritise families.”

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “Government rules restrict how the mayor can use affordable housing investment in London, and these rules favour one and two-bedroom homes over family-sized ones. The mayor will keep making the case to ministers for more family-sized social housing, and last year he got more than three times the number of social rent homes under way than the rest of England combined."

When asked for a comment by The Planner, the GLA noted that in 2018/19 the mayor’s programme started 14,544 affordable homes, which exceeds the target agreed with the government of 14,000, and is more than any year since housing investment was devolved to London. This number includes 1,916 council homes – more than in any year since 1984/85.

Image credit | iStock

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