Saturday, 28 November 2015

Mayor urged to restrict Olympic home rents

The mayor of London is facing calls to exempt homes built on the Olympic Park from the government’s affordable rent programme.

Labour assembly member Nicky Gavron said letting homes at up to 80 per cent of market rents would make the Olympic Park units unaffordable for families with two or more children.

She said: ‘I am very concerned about this because it will affect the social fabric of these neighbourhoods. It will be incredibly difficult for families with two or more children looking for social rented accommodation to afford these rents when they are increased to 80 per cent.

‘The mayor should be doing everything in his power to ensure the Olympics deliver the legacy that was promised and that won us the bid in the first place. If he goes back on this promise he risks creating a no-go zone on the Olympic Park for hard-pressed families by pricing them out of its housing.’

Under the affordable rent programme, landlords will submit bids for development programmes with the majority of new lets expected to be at or close to 80 per cent of market level.

Bids for London will initially be submitted to the Homes and Communities Agency for approval, but from April 2012 investment powers will be transferred to the mayor of London.

The Olympic Park development will include 2,800 affordable homes, which the Olympic Park Legacy Company is considering retaining ownership of.

It also includes a further 1,379 affordable homes in the Athletes’ Village which will be run by the Triathlon Homes consortium of East Thames Housing Group, Southern Housing Group and developer First Base. These homes are are being delivered through an exisiting section 106 planning agreement and the new affordable rent product will not apply to them.

A spokesperson for the mayor said it is up to OPLC to decide on the legacy of the park, including rent levels.

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