Greater London Authority (GLA)-funded family and affordable homes slump

BY JAMES TWOMEY
james@slpmedia.co.uk

The number of Greater London Authority (GLA)-funded family and affordable homes which have started construction has significantly reduced in the last year.

The percentage of family homes in South London that are also affordable being built by the Mayor has fallen from 21 per cent in 2017/18 to 15 per cent in 2018/19.

There were 815 new homes with three or more bedrooms started in boroughs south of the river in 2017/18, but this number slumped to just 566 in 2018/19 – a decrease of 30 per cent.

In Southwark the number of GLA-funded family-sized homes that had begun construction fell from 207 to just 30 in the course of the two years.

Councillor Johnson Situ, cabinet member for growth, development and planning, said: “Southwark council is responding to the housing crisis with our commitment to see at least 35 per cent genuinely affordable housing on all new schemes and one of the largest council homes building programmes across the country.

“Between 2017-2019, about 808 affordable homes were built, including 412 social rent homes, and our own council house building programme, which has seen 654 new council homes built as part of our pledge to build
11,000 by 2043.

“The GLA figures will fluctuate year by year as they only show the affordable homes being built with GLA funding, and include those built by housing associations across the boroughs.

“In 2017, the council received funding for about 200 new homes, and in October 2018 we secured £89.4million to support the deliver of 926 new council homes.”

In Lambeth, the number of GLA-funded family homes to begin building has dropped from 72 in 2017/18 to 13 in 2018/19 and GLA- funded affordable homes have also dropped in the same time period from 370 to 145.

A Lambeth council spokesman said: “Lambeth exceeded its targets in the London Plan with an additional 5,700 homes in the three years to April 2016, but changes in Government policy have seen too few social and affordable homes built across London.

“In Lambeth that meant the waiting list for housing has grown to more than 23,000 people, with fewer homes available each year and overcrowding for families getting worse with more than over 1,300 families severely overcrowded in their current home.

“The council’s housing strategy identifies key objectives to seek to address these challenges, in particular with plans for 1,000 additional council-rent homes by 2021 and addressing overcrowding and poor-quality homes by building replacement homes with enough bedrooms to meet families’ needs through estate rebuilding.

The number of GLA-funded homes in Lewisham fell by almost half from 112 in 2017/18 to 60 in 2018/19.

The number of GLA-funded affordable homes in Lewisham has also dropped in the same time period, from 347 to 303,

A spokeswoman for Lewisham council said: “Building affordable homes in Lewisham is a top priority and we’re continuing our bold programme to deliver 1,500 new social homes by 2022 despite uncertainty in the market and reductions in grant rates.

“With our partners, we have completed 200 new social homes to date, which includes a large proportion of family homes.

A spokesman for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Government rules restrict how the Mayor can use affordable housing investment in London, and these rules favour one and two-bedroomed homes over family-sized ones.

“The Mayor will keep making the case for more family-sized social housing, and last year he got more than three times the number of social rent homes underway than the rest of England combined.”

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