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Hundreds of promised affordable homes not built, 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

A total of 703 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 homes shortfall over the last two years was blamed on missed planning targets by the Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry who revealed the figures.

Ms Berry exposed the gap by comparing 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 40 per cent target set by former London mayor Boris Johnson in his development plan.

“Missing out on the affordable homes developments should provide is a continuing betrayal.

“Every time developments that fail on affordability targets are signed off, people who need homes at reasonable rents lose out,” Ms Berry said.

Cllr Linda Huggett has attacked the council for not building enough affordable homes in the borough. Pic: JACK PETCHEY FOUNDATIONCllr Linda Huggett has attacked the council for not building enough affordable homes in the borough. Pic: JACK PETCHEY FOUNDATION

The City Hall politician claimed she had found hundreds of homes promised in every London borough which had been replaced by luxury flats that an average wage earner couldn’t afford.

The report reveals a further shortfall of 1,346 homes when comparing the number of affordable dwellings in Redbridge to the need for them over the same two year period.

A Redbridge spokeswoman said the council had ambitious housing targets in its local plan promising to build 17,237 homes in the next 15 years with 35pc of them being “affordable”.

She added: “This is in the context of historically low levels of private housebuilding and unsupportive national policy.”

In total 820 homes were built between 2016 and 2017 but developers were still allowed to use viability as a reason to row back on affordable housing commitments.

The council called for more government funding for social housing.

However, the borough’s Conservative leader Cllr Linda Huggett criticised the council for using officers to grant planning permissions.

Cllr Huggett said: “Even when there is member involvement the Labour administration is pushing through permissions without any affordable housing. This is very unfortunate as there is a very genuine need in the borough. But this is not due to a lack of government finance. It is due to planning decisions taken at Redbridge Council dominated by Labour councillors.

Missing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRYMissing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRY

“They are failing to deliver on their election promises.”

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