Saturday, 07 March 2015

Building in London must speed up to reach target

The rate of housebuilding in the English capital must be ‘accelerated at lightning speed’ if Boris Johnson is to hit his targets for affordable homes, London Assembly members have warned.

The assembly heard last Wednesday that just 43 starts have been made in the current financial year. Assembly members calculate 9,500 affordable homes need to be started by September if the Mayor is to achieve his target of 55,000 new affordable homes by 2015.

The warning during a London Assembly budget monitoring sub-committee meeting came ahead of an announcement by the Mayor of London to be made this morning about the next phase of funding of affordable homes in London.

Labour assembly member John Biggs, chair of the sub-committee, said: ‘The mayor needs to up his game if he is to meet his target of providing 55,000 new homes for Londoners by the March 2015 deadline.

‘The tortoise-paced start to this financial year – with only 43 sites begun – must be accelerated at lightning speed if his affordable housing target is to be achieved. 

‘London is facing a housing crisis with demand for affordable housing far outstripping supply.

‘On behalf of all the Londoners who face being priced out of the capital, the assembly will be scrutinising whether the mayor can live up to his housing promises.’

Under the affordable homes programme, homes have to be completed by March 2015,meaning they need to have been started by September this year to allow time for them to be built.

The most recently published Greater London Authority statistics show there were 10,092 affordable homes started in the 2012/13 financial year. These included 4,936 for social rent, 1,672 for ‘affordable’ rent and 3,484 for low cost home ownership.

Readers' comments (11)

  • So on recent 2012/13 experience only half are for social rent level.

    Even those will get progressively less affordable if future rent increases are above wage growth at circa 2.5% cagr - whereas from 2015 the 10 year agreement at CPI plus 1% is likely to see rents grow at circa 4% cagr.

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  • "Affordable rent" is not working in London. We desperately need social rent homes.

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  • Why just London ?Homes everywhere are needed .One bedroom are needed more now with people paying this bedroom charge .Money can always be found in and around London .Houses everywhere are needed asap.

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  • Gavin Rider


    "London is facing a housing crisis with demand for affordable housing far outstripping supply".

    Can anyone name me anywhere that affordable housing supply is outstripping demand for it?

    What a pointless statement. Wherever there is housing made available at lower than the market price, one will be able to immediately sell or rent any amount of it that is built, until there is vastly more housing than there are households.

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  • Gavin Rider

    "The tortoise-paced start to this financial year – with only 43 sites begun..."

    Another ridiculous statement.

    With the financial year only three months in and with housing projects being randomly spaced, rather than evenly spread throughout the year with a constant rate of starts, the number of starts within just a three month period at the beginning of the financial year is neither a valid indicator of the number of housing projects in the pipeline nor the number of houses that will be completed by 2015.

    For the London Assembly to make any judgement about the need to accelerate delivery on the basis of the quoted statistic just goes to show that they are indulging in political posturing rather than making sensible comment.

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  • Gavin, much as I hate to agree with you, it's also pretty absurd to use 'sites' instead of units. If all of those 'sites' have 1,280 homes on them, we're on target!

    In terms of demand for affordable homes, many areas of Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Stockton (to pick a high-profile few at random) have empty homes by the dozen. What they don't have is any jobs.

    My view is that we should stop throwing money at the 'housing crisis' in the South East and look, instead, at the 'work crisis' pretty much everywhere else.

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  • well said Gavin and Sancho. if even half the energy and resources used bulling up the South east was used to create sustainable industry oop north there wouldnt be a housing crisis in the smoke. noone would need to move there. given that the commute to london will iclude liverpool in just a few years the grown ups who manage the companies could trot down for canopes whenever they like while they and their workers enjoyed the better and cheaper lifestyle available up here. a no brainer really but given gorgeous george apparently has no brain ...

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  • Gavin Rider

    Sancho - spot on!

    Perhaps they could create some jobs "oop north" as PB puts it renovating the empty houses and bringing them up to current standard? It wouldn't be long-term work doing that, obviously, but it could get some unemployed workers some new practical skills in the construction industry and then we wouldn't need to import our plumbers and building workers from Europe any more!

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  • BlokeWithAConscience

    What happened to all the Olympic village housing, surely that became council housing when the Games were over as part of our legacy?

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  • We could start by moving government departments up north. Modern communication methods mean there is little need to be even in same continent for majority of staff.

    Even DWP have actually recognised that by outsourcing their IT work to India - for 80% costs saving.

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