Homelessness and Housing Policy

MQT on 2004-03-31
Session date: 
March 31, 2004
Question By: 
Mike Tuffrey
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Why had the number of families forced to live in temporary accommodation across London grown by 14,000 in the last three years, now nearing the worrying total of 63,000 households? Why have your housing strategies failed to curb this increase?



Answer for Homelessness and Housing Policy

Answer for Homelessness and Housing Policy

Answered By: 
The Mayor

While I am committed to working with partners to tackle and prevent homelessness, the London boroughs rather than I, have statutory responsibility for producing and delivering homelessness strategies. As stated in my response to you in November 2003, demand from homeless households (ie the number of households accepted as homeless) has increased slightly (by two per cent between 2001/2 and 2002/3), mainly as a result of the extension of the priority need categories in July 2002. This slight increase in demand is only a partial cause of the large increase in temporary accommodation use. Much more significant is the reduction in the supply of social rented lettings, which has fallen by 26% over the last five years. Although over 45,000 affordable homes were completed over the period, almost 63,000 were sold under the Right to Buy resulting in a substantial net loss of affordable housing.Increasing the supply of social rented housing is a clear priority and completions are set to rise substantially. The London Plan recommends a 50% affordable target for all new housing developments - 15,000 affordable new homes per year. As announced by the Housing Corporation recently, the investment programme in London from 2004 to 2006 is set to produce nearly 20,000 new homes for rent and sale spread across London and in the London Thames Gateway.The GLA is a key partner in delivering the 2003 London Housing Strategy and has direct responsibility for implementing 11 the 18 action points in the Strategy directly concerned with homelessness. Through its membership of the London Housing Board, the Housing Forum for London (HFfL) and the HFfL's Homelessness Policy Sub Group, the GLA is ensuring that tackling homelessness remains high on the agenda and is a key issue for the 2005 London Strategy. . .