Affordable housing system failing, London councillors say

Out-Law News | 15 May 2014 | 4:44 pm | 1 min. read

A majority of London councillors believe the current system for setting affordable housing targets fails to deliver enough affordable homes to meet the capital's demand, a survey has shown.

According to a YouGov poll 82% of councillors questioned felt the current system, under which local authorities require developers to provide a percentage of new housing development as affordable homes, is not delivering.

The poll was commissioned by property communication specialists Quatro. It revealed that 63% of the councillors questioned thought the government's Help to Buy scheme had made property in London more expensive, with 86% saying they thought first time buyers could no longer afford a home in their ward.

UK buy-to-let investors were cited by 45% of the councillors as a factor behind London's housing shortage, with 41% citing overseas investors as causing the problem.

“Councillors are now saying what many in the development industry have thought for a while, the current system of setting affordable housing targets is not delivering," said Quatro director Gary Pleasants in a statement. "Given the desperate need to boost affordable housing in London we need to find a way of addressing this failing system urgently."

“Local politicians recognise the housing difficulties in  London, and many feel that overseas and UK investors are fuelling house price inflation which is making it harder for first time buyers to get on to the housing ladder," Pleasants said.  

"Combined with supply issues and other inflationary factors such as the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, there is a real need for the government, local authorities and developers to work together to find a credible solution,” he said.