Sian Berry 2x1

News from Siân Berry: Net loss of London social housing – first drop since 2014

25 May 2018

Families on waiting lists for affordable council homes will have to hang on even longer as new figures show thousands of social rented homes have been lost in London over the past year.

London suffered a net loss of 3,620 council homes between 2016 and 2017, according to the Government’s annual update on housing stock for London. [1] 

New builds did not make up for homes lost due to demolition and ‘right to buy’ policies for the first time since 2014. Housing associations added just 1,910 new homes last year, leaving a net loss of 1,710 in London social housing stock overall.

The Mayor’s Housing Strategy – published just this week – sets out policies and funding intended to increase council homes, and the Mayor has included ‘increasing the stock of social housing’ as a marker of success in bringing in his new housing policies. [2]

Sian Berry says:

We desperately need more council homes – too many families who are entitled to social housing are waiting for years struggling to get by on low wages and paying exorbitant private rents.

But these new figures show that officially we’re now actually going backwards for the first time in three years. The Mayor should be embarrassed that instead of new council homes, so far in his Mayoralty he has overseen a net decline in social housing. 

He must work harder to preserve the council homes we have by preventing demolitions, and needs to speed up the release of land and funding so that councils and communities can build more of the homes Londoners need.



Total social housing

Council homes

Housing Association homes


Change total

Change Council

Change HA






- 1,710

- 3,620








- 4,170








- 4,660







- 1,960

- 3,620








- 2,810








*Figures from the Government’s new annual statistics and live tables on dwelling stock in England, updated 24 May 2018

The London Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee also heard on Tuesday of this week that a measure of social homes might become one of the key measures in assessing how well the Mayor’s Housing Strategy is succeeding.

Share this page