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More than 800 promised affordable homes not built, report claims

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 September 2018

A report has shown the borough failed to secure affordable house building plans over the last two years. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

A report has shown the borough failed to secure affordable house building plans over the last two years. Pic: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

PA Archive/PA Images

A total of 847 affordable homes weren't built when they should have been, a report has shown.

London Assembly member Sian Berry. Pic GREEN PARTYLondon Assembly member Sian Berry. Pic GREEN PARTY

The homes shortfall over the last two years was blamed on targets agreed at the planning stage being missed by the Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry who revealed the figures.

Ms Berry compared the number of homes priced at up to 80 per cent of market rent secured by the council over the last two years to a 40pc target set by former London mayor Boris Johnson in his development plan.

“Missing out on the affordable homes developments should provide is a continuing betrayal.

“Every time developments that fail on affordability targets are signed off, people who need homes at reasonable rents lose out,” Ms Berry said.

The City Hall politician claimed she had found hundreds of promised homes in every London borough that were replaced when developments were signed off by luxury flats no one on a normal wage could afford.

The report’s authors revealed a shortfall of 1,666 homes when they compared the number of affordable dwellings in Barking and Dagenham to the need for them in the borough over the same two year period.

But the council said the report failed to include 4,500 affordable homes approved for Barking Riverside in November last year.

A local authority spokesman said: “The council has a proud tradition of leading the way and building its own affordable housing.

Missing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRYMissing affordable homes by borough since 2016. Pic: GLA/SIAN BERRY

“Between 2010 and 2017 a third of all new homes built in the borough were council homes.”

He added that Barking and Dagenham aimed to build about 1,800 affordable homes over the next five years with many offered at lower rents.

Of the 16,317 homes given planning permission in the borough 40pc were described as affordable while 50pc of 2,166 new properties in Beam Park, Dagenham, would also be at the reduced cost.

“In response to the challenge of meeting our ambitious housing targets the council has set up Be First, a company it wholly owns, to accelerate the delivery of new homes in the borough and in particular affordable homes,” the spokesman said.

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