Official statistics released today (Thursday 19th April) reveal that more genuinely affordable homes – and more social homes – were started in London last year than in any year since City Hall was given control of housing in the capital.
A record 12,526 genuinely affordable homes were started in 2017/18 – up from 9,000 the previous year – and nearly 2,500 more than the highest year during Boris Johnson’s time as Mayor (2012/13). It is a more than 67 per cent increase from the low to which numbers fell in the previous Mayor’s final year in office (2015/16) even with Sadiq’s new, tougher definition of what is affordable.
The statistics also show that a record 2,826 social homes have been started – a huge increase from the previous year’s pipeline, left by Boris Johnson, that shockingly didn’t include a single home for social rent.
Crucially, Sadiq Khan has ditched Boris Johnson’s dodgy definition of ‘affordable’ – and these new homes are truly affordable to Londoners, with a big focus on new social homes, the new London living rent set at a third of local income and affordable shared ownership.
This is the first set of annual affordable housing statistics published by City Hall that Sadiq’s record can be judged against. Those released in his first year as Mayor reflected the pipeline left by Boris Johnson.
They demonstrate how Sadiq has begun the hard work of turning around the legacy of abject failure to build genuinely affordable housing under a Tory government and Mayor.
Sadiq’s achievement is particularly remarkable given London has less Government funding for housing now than the years when Boris Johnson was starting his largest number of affordable homes.
However, the Mayor warned that he won’t be able to fix London’s housing crisis once and for all until there is a labour government in power – led by Jeremy Corbyn – that provides the funding and powers London needs. The mayor praised the ‘housing for the many’ green paper launched by labour today as ‘exactly the kind of bold change we need’.
Labour’s London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said:
“I grew up on a council estate and having a genuinely affordable home meant I got the opportunities I needed to fulfil my potential and now have the privilege of serving as Labour’s Mayor of London.
“These new statistics show that at City Hall we have begun to lay the groundwork for turning around London’s housing crisis. We have come a long way, but it will take time to reverse the Tories’ pitiful legacy of failing to build homes Londoners can afford.
“Today’s figures show what can be achieved when Labour is in power. Imagine what we could do with a Labour Government, more Labour councillors, and more Labour boroughs.
“Labour’s housing green paper is exactly the kind of bold change we need.
“This is a timely reminder to all Londoners that want to fix the housing crisis once and for all to go and vote Labour on 3 May.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party said:
“These figures show what Labour in power can deliver for Londoners. Sadiq is building record numbers of homes that people can actually afford to live in – including new social homes, homes at the new London living rent set at a third of local income, and affordable shared ownership.
“Today I am pledging that a Labour Government would do the same for people across the country. Under the Tories housing has become about speculation for a wealthy few, pricing out millions of people from a decent, secure home. Our Green Paper today sets out how we will fix our broken housing system, so that it works for the many, not the few.
“The upcoming local elections are a chance to elect more Labour Councillors and more Labour councils, so we can deliver more of the genuinely affordable homes people in London and across the country so desperately need.”
Notes to editor
- The GLA affordable housing statistics to the end of March 2018 are available here: https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/increasing-housing-supply/affordable-housing-statistics
- The previous Mayor’s definition of the term “affordable” was homes to rent at 80 per cent of market rates. Sadiq’s new, more stringent definition of affordable includes:
- Homes based on social rent levels – for Londoners on the lowest incomes
- Homes for Sadiq’s new London Living Rent, which is based on a third of average incomes and allows middle-earning Londoners to save up for a home of their own
- Shared ownership which allows Londoners on average incomes to buy a share in a home and pay a low rent on the remainder.
- There were 12,526 starts of affordable homes in 2017/18:
- This is the highest level of affordable starts since responsibilities for funding affordable housing were delegated to the Mayor of London in 2012/13
- This is a 67 per cent increase on 2015/16 (the previous Mayor’s final year in office, during which starts hit a low of 7,467).
- There were starts logged in all boroughs except Havering.
- Included within this number were 2,826 homes with rents based on social rent levels, after there being zero homes at such levels in the pipeline Sadiq inherited from the previous Mayor (2016/17).
- Sadiq’s team started more social rent level homes in 2017/18 than were started in the last four years combined (2,735 started over the period 2013/14 – 2016/17)
- The target Sadiq’s Homes for Londoners team set for starts for affordable homes was 12,500, almost 24 per cent higher than the previous most achieved since devolution of affordable housing funding to the Mayor (which was 10,128 in 2012/13).
These starts mean that delivery exceeded the target set by the Mayor in 2017/18 and the Mayor is on track to deliver his ambition of starting 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by March 2022.
Housing delivery – affordable starts:
2012/13 – 10,128 (1,687 social rent level)
2013/14 – 8,800 (1,323 social rent level)
2014/15 – 9,586 (1,076 social rent level)
2015/16 – 7,467 (336 social rent level)
2016/17 – 8,935 (0 social rent level)
2017/18 – 12,526 (2,826 social rent level)
- In 2017/18 the GLA spent £563m on affordable housing, 19 per cent higher than the previous most spent by the GLA (£473m in 2012/13) on affordable housing.
- This builds on the work of the Mayor in July 2017 in allocating £1.7bn of funding to deliver almost 50,000 genuinely affordable homes, almost treble the last allocations by the previous Mayor.
- In the Spring Statement 2018, London was allocated an additional £1.67bn of funding for genuinely affordable homes. Opportunities to bid for this funding are expected to open later this summer, after the London borough elections.