Revealed: the London boroughs failing to build affordable homes

Sadiq Khan says ‘not enough’ new homes are being built  (PA)
Sadiq Khan says ‘not enough’ new homes are being built (PA)

Five London boroughs each completed fewer than 100 affordable homes in the most recent year, latest figures revealed on Monday.

Only 23 were completed in Redbridge, 38 in Richmond, 40 in Kingston, 46 in Merton and 92 in Sutton, according to data for the 2022/23 year published by the Greater London Authority.

In total, 13,954 homes were completed across the capital over the 12-month period, a record since Sadiq Khan became mayor in 2016.

However this was still short of the 17,875 completed in 2014/15 and 16,391 in 2011/12, both years when Boris Johnson was mayor.

Mr Khan hailed the start of a “housebuilding revolution” and a “golden era of council house building” as he published figures that he used to claim he had “smashed” the target of starting 116,000 affordable homes between 2016-23.

According to GLA data, a total of 116,782 homes were started. But this includes 7,189 started in 2015/16 – when Mr Johnson was still mayor.

Fewer than 110,000 have been started during Mr Khan’s two terms as mayor – he was first elected on May 5, 2016.

Under the rules set by the Government, the 116,000 target can include affordable homes started in 2015/16. It also extended the deadline from April 2022 to April 2023 due to the pandemic.

Caroline Pidgeon, a Lib-Dem London Assembly member, said: “Reality is that the mayor has built 109,593 – short of his own target.”

Andrew Boff, who is bidding to become the Tory mayoral candidate, told BBC London Radio: “These aren’t homes that have been built, and he’s been very, very slow on completing the homes he says he’s started.

“Fundamentally, what we have got to pin the mayor down on is how many homes he is completing, not how many homes are on a spreadsheet as a possible plan sometime in the future.”

A total of 58,936 affordable homes have been completed in London since April 2016. In the most recent year, 2,362 of the 13,954 completions were council homes.

Mr Khan said it typically took housebuilders two to four years to move from starting a house to completing it. He contrasted London’s efforts with the Government’s decision to abandon housebuilding targets in the rest of the country.

Asked about the current rate of construction – 25,658 affordable homes were started in 2022/23 – Mr Khan said: “I have got to be honest. It’s not enough.”

The number of affordable homes started was up more than a third on the18,840 in 2021/22 – the most recorded by City Hall since its data began in 2002. Mayors are judged on the number of starts not completions.

Greenwich had the biggest number of starts in the most recent financial year (2,426), followed by Brent (2,184) and Ealing (2,070).

But only 79 were started in Havering, 153 in Sutton, 228 in Camden  and 289 in Wandsworth.