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Two thousand affordable homes for Newham weren’t built, report reveals

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 September 2018

A report has shown the borough failed to secure affordable house building plans over the last two years. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

A report has shown the borough failed to secure affordable house building plans over the last two years. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

A total of 2,122 affordable homes weren’t built when they should have been, a report has shown.

London Assembly member Sian Berry. Pic GREEN PARTYLondon Assembly member Sian Berry. Pic GREEN PARTY

The homes shortfall was blamed on missed planning targets by the Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry who revealed the figures.

The borough was third highest in London for the number of affordable homes unbuilt behind Barnet (-2,580) and Tower Hamlets (-2,281).

Ms Berry exposed the gap by comparing the number of homes priced at up to 80 per cent of market rent secured by the council over the last two years to a 40 per cent target set by former London mayor Boris Johnson in his development plan.

“Missing out on the affordable homes developments should provide is a continuing betrayal.

“Every time developments that fail on affordability targets are signed off, people who need homes at reasonable rents lose out,” Ms Berry said.

The City Hall politician claimed she had found hundreds of affordable homes across London that were replaced by luxury flats no one on a normal wage could afford once developments were signed off.

The report’s authors found a further shortfall of 4,970 homes when they compared the number of affordable dwellings in Newham to the predicted need for them.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz attacked the government saying it had no grip on the housing crisis.

Missing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRYMissing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRY

“We are facing chronic shortages of genuinely affordable homes with nearly 26,000 households on the housing waiting list and almost 5,000 families in temporary accommodation.

“This is an intolerable situation made worse by the government’s incoherent approach.”

She accused the government of starving councils of funds to build homes. Its policy allowing tenants the right to buy council properties lost the borough 1,178 social rent homes in the past eight years.

“This government talks about a new deal for social housing but isn’t providing the scale of money needed to provide enough,” she said.

Missing affordable homes per borough compared to the assessed need for them since 2016 across London. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRYMissing affordable homes per borough compared to the assessed need for them since 2016 across London. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRY

Mayor Fiaz added that mayor of London Sadiq Khan did have a grip on the issue.

“I have more confidence working with him to deliver on my pledge to start 1,000 council-owned social rent homes,” she said.

The government was approached for comment.

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