Building of Affordable Housing Slows Under Boris

Drop of 57% starting construction in Hounslow

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There has been a 70 per cent drop in the building of affordable housing in London since last year, new figures reveal.

Hounslow has seen a drop of 57.1 per cent in the number of affordable homes starting construction.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) figures show affordable housing starts falling dramatically during the first year of the new affordable housing programme. This is the first negotiated by Boris Johnson, the previous programme was negotiated by his predecessor.

The figures come at a time when in Hounslow:

• There are 12212 people on the council house waiting list
• Only 181 affordable homes were started in 2011/12 compared with 422 last year
• Last year 542 homeless families were accepted by the council

The HCA statistics follow the publication of figures last month by the Department for Communities and Local Government that showed only 780 new affordable homes were started in the capital between April and June 2012 - the lowest quarterly figure for a decade.

Local Labour London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said: “Boris Johnson has claimed great credit for administering the affordable housing programme he inherited from his predecessor. Now it’s clear his own record is less than impressive, with affordable housing starts falling off a cliff.

"We are in the midst of a housing crisis in London, exacerbated by a chronic shortage of affordable housing. In Hounslow alone there are 12212 families on the council housing waiting list. What is the Mayor doing for these people?

"It is unacceptable that the Mayor has allowed affordable house building to fall so dramatically, with only 181 homes started this year compared to 422 last year.

“The Mayor’s failure to build more affordable housing is contributing to the rising cost of living, where private sector rents increased by 8.8 per cent for the poorest Londoners last year and energy and transport fares are increasing. Londoners need the Mayor to get a grip of the new programme and to get delivering new affordable homes.”

September 28, 2012