Of all the boroughs within London only two have built enough affordable homes to match the demand of each one according to a report published in March 2010. The only boroughs to meet their demand were Bexley and Bromley councils, all other councils failed to deliver on their targets in a league table by Shelter Housing. In the published report it states that 28 boroughs in London provided less than half of the affordable homes that they needed to build. Unbelievably this meant that 350,000 families were therefore left on council waiting lists. The report also states that 10 other boroughs provided less than 10% of their target. The worst offending councils were Barnet, Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond and Westminster. Each of these councils met less than 5% of the housing demand claimed that report.
This report comes after Mayor Boris Johnson had to back track on his claims that by this year 50,000 affordable homes were to be built in London. The Mayor has now pledged to have them built by 2010 but confirmed that since 2008, when he became Mayor, 20,000 affordable homes have been built despite the financial hardships faced.
However Shelter’s chief executive Mr Campbell Robb feels that London boroughs must work harder to meet their targets in regards to affordable homes otherwise they will never meet the housing needs of the population within their boroughs. He states that not only are 350,000 families finding themselves on the council waiting lists but one in five children in London are living in overcrowded houses. Mr Robb feels that it is unacceptable that councils are not reaching their targets when statistics such as these prove that affordable housing is a major problem in London.
A Kensington and Chelsea spokesman explained that competition for land in the borough was fierce and therefore social landlords are simply priced out of the market. However the spokesman said that the council has an excellent track record in achieving affordable housing through their planning agreements.