Affordable housing

MQT on 2016-05-25
Session date: 
May 25, 2016
Question By: 
Tony Devenish
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


How will you ensure that your 50% affordable housing target does not lead to fewer affordable homes being built than in previous years?

Supplementary Questions: 


Answer for Affordable housing

Answer for Affordable housing

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Could I also congratulate you on your election as well.


Boris Johnson has left affordable housing delivery in London hanging in the balance.  Last year a mere 13% of approvals were for affordable housing.  I am determined to turn around this pitiful record of affordable housing delivery, which falls woefully short of meeting Londoners’ needs.


My long-term strategic target of 50% of new homes being genuinely affordable is crucial to ensuring this step-change.  I am confident that this can be achieved without reducing housing supply.  I will be using public land, my investment and my full suite of planning powers to ensure London builds more affordable homes.  I will be working with developers, landowners, providers and boroughs to develop a phased approach that will embed affordable housing requirements into land values while ensuring there is no slowdown in overall delivery.  Fundamental to this will be a more rigorous approach to assessing development viability.  I will set out more details on my approach in the next couple of months.


Tony Devenish AM:  Thank you, Mr Mayor.  Please advise me of the specific numbers of affordable homes you are committed to building in each of the next four years; numbers, please.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I am not giving number; I have been quite clear.  During the campaign I made this quite clear when all of the other candidates were throwing around figures.  It is about making sure the right sorts of homes are built rather than an obsession with numbers.  Let me tell you why.  It is possible to build 50,000 homes a year, some people say, but there is no point if they are all bought by investors from the Middle East and Asia to be used as second homes or to sit empty.  The important thing is to ensure that the right sorts of homes are built in London that are affordable to Londoners to buy or rent.  That is what I intend to do.


Tony Devenish AM:  Mr Mayor, if you do not have targets, things do not get done.  Your officers in this building will not get things done, the industry will not get things done and Londoners will have happening to them what happened under Ken Livingstone [former Mayor of London]: fewer affordable homes.  Please set targets and numbers as quickly as possible.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  Can I just say, Chairman, how refreshing it is to see Conservatives obsessed with targets.  It is a shame that they have abolished most of them in the last six years in Government.


Tony Arbour AM (Chairman):  There is no obsession on the part of any Assembly Member.  There are no obsessions here.


Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London):  I will take your word for it, Chairman.  I thank the Assembly Member for his advice on affordable housing.  With respect to him, we will see what happens.  We have seen over the last eight years what has happened with affordable housing in London.  We have been left with a housing crisis that many call “Boris Johnson’s housing crisis”.


Tony Devenish AM:  I hope that in due course you will come up with answers rather than excuses, Mr Mayor.