Affordable housing programmes

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-10-22
Session date: 
October 22, 2014
Reference: 
2014/3665
Question By: 
Tom Copley
Organisation: 
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Why are you pretending that the deadline for completing 55,000 affordable homes as part of the 2011/15 funding round was actually the end of December 2015?

Answer

Answer for Affordable housing programmes

Answer for Affordable housing programmes

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Yes, Tom, I do not know what you are getting at here, but the pledge is to create 100,000 homes over the lifetime of this mayoralty and we are well on target to deliver that.  What I have said is that we did a huge chunk in the first term and we are doing another huge chunk this term.  Both are thoroughly creditable, given the economic circumstances we face.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Can I ask you specifically as you seem a little confused by the question?  You have consistently said that you are going to deliver 55,000 affordable homes by the end of March 2015, but last month you told Stephen Knight, “My manifesto commitment is to deliver around 55,000 affordable homes”.  You told him that that runs until December 2015.  Is it the end of March 2015 or is it December 2015?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It is 2015.  I will tell you that and so ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Mr Mayor, let me quote a few things to you.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  That is an unbelievable performance, given the constraints we have faced, given the --Tom Copley AM:  Mr Mayor, hang on.  I need to pin you down on a date.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  It is more than any previous mayoralty and--

 

Tom Copley AM:  No, wait a minute.  The question on the paper ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not know why you are bringing this up again.

 

Tom Copley AM:  I want a simple answer.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  You have just agreed to apologise.  You have just agreed to apologise for your failure.

 

Tom Copley AM:  I want a simple answer from you, Mr Mayor.  Be quiet a moment.  I want a simple answer from you.  Is the deadline for the 55,000 affordable homes by the end of March 2015, as has said been on the record by you and by your Deputy Mayor numerous times, or is it December 2015, which is what you have more recently told Stephen Knight?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I think you are ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Could you just say which of those it is?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  As far as I can remember, it is 2015 and we are on ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  When in 2015?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I do not know;  whenever we have done them.

 

Tom Copley AM:  OK, let me have a --

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  They will be there.  I do not know what your ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Mr Mayor, Mr Mayor ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Contain your impatience.  They will be there in greater numbers ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Let me quote ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): than any Labour administration ever delivered and you should rejoice.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Let me put it you this way.  March 2015 is not the deadline; it is some point in 2015?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  All I can tell you is what I ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  Mr Mayor, is it March 2015 or is it some point anywhere in 2015?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We are going to --

 

Tom Copley AM:  Given that he and Richard Blakeway [Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property] ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I am absolutely confident ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  ‑‑ and Jamie Ratcliff [Assistant Director - Programme, Policy and Services] said at the last Housing Committee meeting that it was the end of March 2015, your officers appear to think it is the end of March 2015, Mr Mayor.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I have no reason to doubt them.  If that is what they say, then I am sure they are very wise and I am sure that most of them will be complete by that time.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Let me quote this to you ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If there are a few that are not complete, we will see.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Let me put this exchange from the Housing Committee to you --

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  What I can tell you is that it looks overwhelmingly likely that we will deliver 100,000 homes.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Hang on.  Let me quote what Darren [Johnson] asked you.  Darren asked you,

 

“I am going to start off with the first question.  Is the Mayor still on target to deliver 55,000 affordable homes by March 2015?”

 

Richard Blakeway, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, “Yes”.  That is a very specific answer.  Is the deadline still the end of March 2015?  No answer.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  As far as I know, we are going to deliver 100,000 homes over the lifetime of this mayoralty.  I am not particularly ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  He does not know.  He is not going to say.

 

Andrew Dismore AM:  The present number does not count.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No, that is absolutely correct, actually.  I do not know what point you are trying to make, but we are going to deliver a record number of homes.

 

Tom Copley AM:  The point I am trying to make, Mr Mayor, is that that is yet another pledge that you are not going to keep to Londoners.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  If it slips by a few hundred ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  You told Londoners ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  OK, if it slips by a few hundred in March or whatever deadline ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  You are now accepting there may be some slippage?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ you arbitrarily choose to set, we will look at it then, but as far as I am aware we are on track this year ‑‑

 

Tom Copley AM:  This is yet another pledge that you have failed to keep to Londoners.  Thank you.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  This year, we have delivered or we are on track this year to deliver the highest number of affordable homes since 1980, which is before you were born, and that is an outstanding achievement.

 

Tom Copley AM:  Thank you very much, Mr Mayor.  I have finished.

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  I will stop you there.  Assembly Member Gavron.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  We are starting more homes in London now than any year since the 1930s, before they invented the green belt ‑‑

 

Nicky Gavron AM:  Mayor, Mayor.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ and instead of whimpering on about ‑‑

 

Nicky Gavron AM:  Mayor, can we go back?

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ these non‑questions, you should be rejoicing in the success of London ‑‑

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Assembly Member Gavron.

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ and you should be 

 

Nicky Gavron AM:  I am trying to get in there, but ‑‑

 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  ‑‑ supporting what we are achieving.

 

Roger Evans AM (Chairman):  Boris, you are talking to the wall.  We will stop the clock.  Assembly Member Gavron.