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City Hall Tories accuse Mayor of ‘failing to build the right homes’

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More homes were built in Tower Hamlets than in any other London borough during Sadiq Khan’s first term as mayor, figures have revealed.

The east London borough saw 4,306 homes completed between 2016 and 2021 under the GLA’s housebuilding programme, more than the bottom 11 boroughs combined.

There were 34,659 homes completed in London in that time, some of which may have been started under the previous mayor, with the City of London, Richmond-upon-Thames and Kingston-upon-Thames seeing the fewest new homes built by City Hall.

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The figures were revealed this week by the City Hall Conservatives, and the party’s housing spokesperson Andrew Boff says the Mayor of London is “failing to build the right homes in the right places”.

Mr Boff said: “It’s no wonder that only a few boroughs have benefited from City Hall’s housebuilding programme under Sadiq Khan. His plan to build small one and two-bedroom flats only suits a few boroughs, leaving much of London without the family-sized homes they desperately need.

“Unless Sadiq Khan’s housing programme starts to deliver family-sized homes, he risks overdeveloping a few boroughs and abandoning large swathes of London.”

The Conservatives have called for the mayor to “pick up the pace” of London’s housebuilding programme and build more “family-sized” homes.

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The issue was brought up in a meeting of the London Assembly this week where Sadiq Khan hit back and said that setting targets for market-rate family-sized homes “would not address the needs of Londoners”.

Mr Khan said: “What we’ve done is to require councils, when it comes to devising their policies, to look at what the needs are in the area in relation to social housing. The reason why it’s important for them to see the need in the area for social housing is because unlike market value housing, which very few families can afford – the average cost to buy a property in London is now half a million pounds – the affordable housing is affordable to those families, particularly living in overcrowded accommodation.”

He added: “What we’ve got to do is to make sure the numbers of affordable homes – council homes, intermediate homes and others – have more family homes to address the issue of overcrowding, as well as having more smaller homes for those adult children currently living with mum and dad to be able to move out into their own home.”

The Mayor of London continued by saying that, when funding is given to housing providers, there is a requirement “to make sure there is a good mix of housing” and that when permissions are granted, it is done “to reflect the needs of the area”.

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According to the London Plan Annual Monitoring Report, which tracks the progress of the Mayor’s London Plan, homes with three or more bedrooms made up 41 per cent of all completed social rent homes in 2018/19, compared to 34 per cent in 2015/16.

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