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52 'affordable' homes funded by GLA started in Brent over last 12 months - a drop of 92%

PUBLISHED: 09:56 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:58 27 April 2018

London mayor Sadiq Khan announces Brent as winner of London Borough of Culture for 2020. Under Mr Khan, the Greater London Authority has financed the beginning of 52 new homes in the borough over the last 12 months - a fraction of the number being built elsewhere. Picture: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

London mayor Sadiq Khan announces Brent as winner of London Borough of Culture for 2020. Under Mr Khan, the Greater London Authority has financed the beginning of 52 new homes in the borough over the last 12 months - a fraction of the number being built elsewhere. Picture: Matt Alexander/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

Brent has seen among the lowest numbers of affordable homes delivered in the last year through a scheme financed by City Hall.

In the past year the Greater London Authority has backed boroughs to start building 12,526 homes for social rent, London Living Rent, shared ownership or “affordable” rent in the capital, according to figures released on Thursday.

But the Brent figure of 52 is a big fall from the 693 homes started in the borough the year before – April 2016 to March 2017. Only Camden (35) and Richmond (28) saw fewer, while neighbouring Barnet had 913, Ealing 1,037, Harrow 219 and Westminster 139.

Funding from the GLA is one of a number of ways affordable homes can be bankrolled in boroughs like Brent. They can be built by councils, housing associations or private developers, and funded through grants, levies on developers, revenue from council housing rent, and right to buy cash.

A spokesperson for mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “Sadiq is clear that while this is a positive start on the first set of homes he has funded, there is more work to be done to tackle the housing crisis in London.

“He remains determined to do everything in his power to build more homes for Londoners and is on track to deliver his ambition of starting 116,000 genuinely affordable homes by 2022.”

Mr Khan is trying to redefine affordable housing so it is measured against Londoners’ average income – whereas, when Boris Johnson was in charge, City Hall simply defined affordable housing as 80 per cent of the market rate. That said, only 23 of the new builds started in Brent will be available for the London Living Rent, with 23 available as social housing and a further six marked “other affordable rent”.

Brent Council housing chief Cllr Harbi Farah said he was proud of the council’s own tally of building 4,500 “affordable” homes, separate from the GLA’s record, since 2010, but added: “With more than 40 per cent of our residents dependent on an expensive and insecure private rental market, and 2,400 families in temporary accommodation, we know there’s far more to be done, both in terms of building even more homes and making them genuinely affordable.”

Mr Khan released the figures to coincide with the launch of Labour’s “Housing For The Many” green paper, in which the party promised a million affordable homes in a decade.

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