Mayoral candidates clash over affordable homes
A row has erupted over the development of affordable homes between the two main candidates vying to become the next mayor of London.
Conservative candidate Boris Johnson and Labour’s Ken Livingstone have both accused each other of not having done enough to build more affordable homes while in office.
In his manifesto, Mr Johnson accused Mr Livingstone of failing to hit his target of 50 per cent affordable homes on developments in the capital and when approached by Inside Housing, his office said the Labour candidate’s record on affordable housing was not particularly good.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: ‘Ken Livingstone’s record on affordable housing is one of broken promises and under-achievement.
‘In 2004 Ken Livingstone broke his promise to build 60,000 affordable homes in four years. Ken Livingstone fell far short of his target, reaching a total of 24,420 - less than half.
‘Ken Livingstone also broke his promise to ensure that every year 50 per cent of new homes were affordable - never reaching over 35 per cent. In fact, there was less affordable housing at the end of Ken Livingstone’s time as mayor than before he started.
‘In contrast, Boris Johnson has delivered a record number of affordable houses over the last four years - 52,000 - and despite one of the toughest spending rounds in history, has secured a £3 billion funding settlement from No 10 to continue to tackle London’s housing challenges and provide more affordable housing.’
Mr Livingstone’s team disputed the claims and said that the Conservatives had twisted the transfer of Homes and Communities Agency powers and funding to the mayor to political ends.
A spokesperson for Ken Livingstone said: ‘The Tory mayor has squandered the new powers given to City Hall in 2008. Boris Johnson has completed just 26,000 homes just 56 affordable homes were started in the whole of London in the latest 6 months period.
‘Ken Livingstone made creating affordable homes in London one of the centrepieces of his mayoral terms. In contrast, Boris Johnson abolished the target that 50 per cent of new homes should be affordable and has changed the definition of “affordable” so as to include completely unaffordable homes
‘As everyone involved in housing knows, the Conservative candidate has not “secured a £3bn funding settlement from Number 10” - all that is happening is HCA responsibilities are being transferred to the mayor - whoever is mayor.
‘Ken will ensure that there a new more affordable homes in London, and try to tackle the failures of the last four years.’
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