327 new affordable homes were started by City Hall in Enfield and 691 in Haringey between April and December 2019, according to new figures from the Greater London Authority (GLA). Across London, this number exceeded 12,500. London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, welcomed these figures as “very encouraging”, but has called on the new Housing Minister, Chris Pincher MP, to give City Hall “the right amount of support” in the wake of a decade of “inertia and underinvestment” when it comes to national housing policy.
The latest statistics also reveal a 92% and 160% increase in the number of affordable homes that were started in Enfield and Haringey respectively, during this nine-month period, compared to the whole of 2018/2019. The Mayor of London’s Housing Strategy plans for a year-on-year increase in housing starts between 2017 and 2022.
Across the two boroughs, on average, over half of these newly started homes will be offered at social rent on completion, with the remainder at other affordable rates and tenures such as London Living Rent and Shared Ownership.
The Mayor of London has secured £4.8 billion of funding so far from the Government to support affordable housing projects in London. However, a report released by the GLA last June, revealed that to meet the scale of housing demand in the capital, Government investment in this area would need to increase seven-fold.
According to analysis from the Resolution Foundation, Central Government funding for affordable housing has dropped across the last decade. After 2011, the national budget for social housing was reduced from £8.5bn for 3 years, to £4.5bn for 4 years. London’s allocation of funding was also significantly reduced, from £3.72 billion between 2008 and 2011 (£1.24 billion per year) to just £627 million from 2011-2015 (£157 million a year), representing an almost 90% reduction in yearly funding for all kinds of social and affordable housing.
London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:
“The national housing crisis has led to the grim reality of thousands of Londoners sleeping rough on our streets, stuck in temporary accommodation or ripped off by extortionate private rents.
“These new figures are very encouraging and show that City Hall is getting on with the job of kickstarting a new generation of social-rented and affordable homes for local people.
“Let’s be clear, we could be even more ambitious and go even further if City Hall received the right amount of support. The stark truth is that we need seven times the amount of funding we currently receive from the Government to meet the scale of demand for affordable housing in the capital.
“Unless the last decade marred by inertia and underinvestment is remedied, Londoners will continue to lose out”.