Figures published today show that the Mayor of London has yet to spend almost £400m of government funding for new affordable housing. The Mayor had hoped to allocate this money to housing associations and councils to build new affordable homes, but following the Mayor’s decision to allow affordable rents to reach 80 per cent of market value, associations reportedly believe that rents would be too expensive for poorer residents and are therefore not taking up the option to build.
As reported in Inside Housing, £380m of the £1.25bn the Mayor had hoped to allocate to housing associations and councils to build new affordable homes by 2018 remains untouched, five months after the deadline for bids passed. The Mayor had previously insisted it wanted to allocate the entire £1.25bn pot by the summer.
Commenting, Tom Copley AM, London Assembly Labour Group Housing Spokesperson, said:
“The affordable housing reforms pushed through by the Mayor have come back to haunt him. Housing associations don’t want to take his money to build so-called ‘affordable housing’ which, at up to 80 per cent market rent, is not affordable for those low-income households that need it. This is a problem entirely of Boris Johnson’s own making.
“Once again it is those on the lowest incomes that will suffer the most at the hands of Boris’s mayoralty.”