14 February 2020

London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s affordable housing programme today came under fire for the “painfully slow” rate at which houses and flats funded by City Hall are being built.

Figures obtained by the London Assembly Tories show that by the end of last year just 12,294 of the 34,515 homes started since the Mayor came to power in May 2016 had been completed.

Across the country it typically takes around 18 months to two years from the first work on a new home’s foundations to completion and residents moving in.

Yet the data shows that of the 7,416 homes started in 2016/17, the first full year of the Labour Mayor’s first term, more than 1,800 are still not finished.

Only 34 and 17 per cent of the homes started in 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively are ready to be lived in.

London-wide Tory Assembly member Andrew Boff said: “With the Mayor already failing to build anywhere near the number of homes he promised, this painfully slow progress will come as slap in the face to the countless Londoners who dream of owning their own home. There can be no doubt that Sadiq Khan’s housing record is now in tatters.

“Housebuilding in the capital needs to be a sprint rather than a marathon — something which this complacent mayor has demonstrated he doesn’t grasp.”

'More council homes than any year since 1984'

However, a spokesman for the Mayor said: “Sadiq is building more genuinely affordable homes in London than any time since City Hall took control of housing in the capital.

"Last year’s figures show that the Mayor started more council homes than any year since 1984/85.

“The Mayor is making progress fixing the housing crisis despite years of economic uncertainty linked to Brexit and having to repair the woeful legacy of the previous mayor who prioritised expensive private homes over housing Londoners could afford.”

Why new homes building has slowed in recent years

Construction experts said the pace at which new homes are being built in London has slowed markedly over recent years.

This is for a number of reasons, varying from skilled labour shortages to increased safety demands from Transport for London for any building sites near railway lines or other infrastructure.

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy at the National Federation of Builders, said: “It is just getting more and more complex.”

Source: Homes&Property