Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been accused of “deprioritising families”, after it was revealed the proportion of family-sized homes started by the Greater London Authority (GLA) have dramatically fallen by over 40% in just a year.
The stats, obtained by the GLA Conservatives housing spokesman Andrew Boff, show 13% of all GLA funded affordable housing starts in 2018/19 were family-sized homes, down from 23% in the previous financial year.
“Lasting damage will be done to London if it continues to become a family-free zone; we desperately need thousands more homes which have three bedrooms or more,” said Boff.
The Mayor’s office maintained the target was on track and turned the argument back on the government and rules that restrict how the Mayor can use affordable housing investment in London.
To the Mayor’s Office these rules favour one and two bedroom homes over family-sized ones, meaning Mayor’s affordable housing programme is heavily weighted towards shared ownership properties – which are typically one or two bedrooms.
“The Mayor will keep making the case to ministers 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,” a Mayor’s Office spokesperson said.
GLA Conservatives say the stats show a 30% fall from 2017/18, when 2,892 out of a total of 12,555 affordable housing starts were family-sized.
In some boroughs – including Richmond and Merton – Khan is shown as failing to fund a single home which had three or more bedrooms.
This comes with Khan under frequent fire for scrapping the family homes target in his housing strategy, and instead prioritising smaller units.
“These shocking statistics show that raising a family in London has become even more of an impossible dream under Sadiq Khan.
“The proportion of family-sized homes started by the Mayor has nearly halved over the course of just a year, with some boroughs being deprived of a single GLA funded family home in 2018/19,” said Boff.
“Against this backdrop, it is extraordinary that Sadiq Khan has decided to remove a family-sized homes target from his housing strategy.
“Make no mistake, this severe drop in the number of homes has come about as a result of this senseless decision to deprioritise families,” he said.
- According to the Mayor’s Office, in 2018/19 the Mayor’s programme started 14,544 affordable homes, exceeding the target agreed with Government of 14,000, and more than in any year since housing investment was devolved to London
This number includes 1,916 council homes – more than in any year since 1984/85.
In 2018/19 more than three times the number of social rent homes were started in London (3,991) than the rest of England combined (1,231).
To the Mayor’s Office, then, Khan is on track to achieve the target agreed with government to start 17,000 homes in 2019/20 and 116,000 affordable homes by 2022.