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2,000 affordable homes not built when they should have been, report shows

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

More than 2,000 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 2,281 homes shortfall over the last two years was blamed on planning targets being missed by the Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry who revealed the figures.

This was the second highest in London behind Barnet (-2580).

Ms Berry compared 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 40pc target set by former London mayor Boris Johnson.

Ms Berry said: “Missing out on the affordable homes developments should provide is a continuing betrayal.”

Cllr Rabina Khan, Shadwell ward. Pic: CLLR RABINA KHANCllr Rabina Khan, Shadwell ward. Pic: CLLR RABINA KHAN

The City Hall politician claimed she had found hundreds of promised homes in every London borough replaced with luxury flats no one on a normal wage could afford after developments were signed off.

The borough had the highest shortfall in London of 5,644 homes, based on the number of affordable dwellings compared to need for the same two years.

But a council spokesman said City Hall figures showed the local authority produced the most affordable homes.

In total 2,207 affordable homes were given planning permission and another 2,520 planned.

Cllr Rabina Khan has criticised Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs over his housebuilding record. Picture: Mike BrookeCllr Rabina Khan has criticised Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs over his housebuilding record. Picture: Mike Brooke

New-builds amounting to more than 100 properties in Bradwell Street, Mile End, Dame Colet House, Stepney, Poplar Baths in East India Dock Road and Watts Grove, Bow, had provided 100pc affordable council homes, he added.

But Liberal Democrat Cllr Rabina Khan accused mayor Biggs of taking the credit for building begun when she was housing chief under a previous administration.

The mayor failed to meet a 2015 manifesto pledge to build 1,000 homes, Cllr Khan claimed.

“Mayor Biggs’s failure is an indication of his incompetency in building much needed homes,” she said.

But the mayor shot back saying the housebuilding was well on its way with work on another 1,000 underway.

“Despite opposition councillors voting against applications for new council homes, for example on the Locksley Estate, we are making good progress.

“We have also introduced lower rent levels saving famililes up to £6,000 compared to rents under the former mayor,” he said.

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