Wednesday 29 November 2017

Greens award a FAIL to Sadiq Khan's 'affordable' housing definition in London Plan

The Mayor has failed to fix the definition of an affordable home in London in his new draft London Plan, leaving average families stuck paying over the odds for so-called ‘affordable’ new homes, says Sian Berry Green Assembly Member for London.

Sian Berry said:
The Mayor’s affordable housing policies in this plan are a real let down for the average Londoner – they look set to let developers off the hook again and won’t deliver what Londoners need. 
Evidence accompanying the plan shows that so-called ‘intermediate’ housing, at only slightly less extortionate rents, will simply not do. The assessment of London’s housing needs, summarised in the plan, says that nearly half of all new housing must be at low cost social rent levels. However, in the plan the Mayor is only asking for these kinds of homes to be 30 per cent of the affordable housing provided.

With overall affordable home targets set at 35 per cent of homes, this means developers can make just one in ten homes available at social rent.

This is nowhere near what London needs. I’ve already challenged the Mayor about why he has included a definition of ‘affordable housing’ at up to 80 per cent of market rates in his draft housing strategy and yet we see this again here.

He has added a household income limit of £60,000 a year and said that affordable rents should be at 40 per cent of net income for people earning this salary, but this will leave families earning much less than this paying over £1500 a month in rent to live in what is still defined as an ‘affordable home’.

The Mayor needs to change the definition of affordable and set proper targets for homes at social rents too. Developers will always opt for the least costly option for them, and I fear this means high rents for ‘affordable’ homes will continue to be the norm under this Mayor’s plans.

Londoners can’t afford to be failed on housing by two Mayors in a row. These plans are in draft and Londoners will be able to have their say. I hope that everyone affected by high housing costs tells the Mayor that his targets for developers and his definition of affordable housing needs to change to meet their needs.

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