Londoners suffer as government blames everybody else for their economic mess

The Mayor is responsible for the management of the affordable housing programme and on his watch affordable housing stats have fallen to their lowest level for a decade.

Today (Thursday) the Local Government Association published figures showing the government is wrong to say the planning system is a road block to recovery. The problem is caused by banks not lending.

The LGA report shows that over 400,000 houses across the country and 93,000 in <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> have planning permission but have not yet been built. In the borough of <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city>, there are currently 1953 signed off waiting to be built.

The average delay between planning approval and completion is now over two years.

The government have:

·         Cut <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s affordable housing budget by 70%

·         Changed the rules for affordable housing

·         Created uncertainty and forced housing associations to change their financing arrangements and take on more debt.

Local Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said: “In <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> alone, there are 93,000 houses with planning permission which haven’t been started or been stalled by developers. Since May 2010 the government has cut <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city>’s affordable housing budget by 70% and introduced sky-high rents for new ‘affordable’ homes. Now they are saying developers do not even need to deliver these.

In <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>Westminster</place></city> borough there are 1953 unimplemented housing approvals waiting to be built. These are stalled because banks aren’t lending to developers, and because house builders want to limit supply to push up prices and increase their profits. This is something the government can fix and isn’t.

“Londoners are suffering as the government blames everybody else for their economic mess. There is an enormous need for decent low-cost rented housing. Yet the reality is that home ownership is a distant dream for many. Private sector rents are soaring, 200,000 families now live in overcrowded housing and rough sleeping are rising rapidly after years of decline.”

Ends

Notes:

1.      Murad Qureshi is a <city w:st=”on”><place w:st=”on”>London</place></city> wide Labour Assembly Member.

2.      Today’s report from the Local Government Association details the 400,000 houses that have planning permission that are yet to be built across the country and the 93,000 in London, see here: http://www.local.gov.uk/web/guest/media-releases/-/journal_content/56/10171/3704026/NEWS-TEMPLATE

3.