Waltham Forest has been the London borough where the highest “affordable” percentage of new homes has been built in recent years, while Tower Hamlets has seen the highest total number built, according to official data compiled for the London Mayor.
The figures, included the the annual London Plan monitoring report, show that 47% of all new residential dwellings completed in Waltham Forest in the three years from 2013/14 to 2015/16 met the definition of affordable, with Barking and Dagenham securing the second highest proportion on 43%, followed by Havering on 41%, Greenwich on 40% and Haringey on 36%.
In terms of total numbers of affordable homes supplied, the Tower Hamlets figure for the same period was 1,830 (29% of the total number of homes built), which was followed by Greenwich on 1,763, Newham on 1494 (28%), Havering on 1,284 and Croydon on 1,200 (25%). The total number for Waltham Forest was 954 homes, for Barking and Dagenham 927, and for Haringey 604.
“Affordable” for the period in question, which closed shortly before the end of Boris Johnson’s eight years as mayor, principally means homes for traditional social rent, the more expensive “affordable rent” tenure and for “shared ownership” low cost home ownership dwellings. The report does not provide a breakdown of the different affordable types.
The proportion of new homes completed across London as a whole that were affordable was 24% and the total affordable number was 21,491. Johnson’s successor, Sadiq Khan, has set a “long term, strategic goal” of bringing the percentage of new homes that he calls “genuinely affordable” built in London overall up to 50%. He has not yet set a target for an absolute number.
The borough with the lowest affordable percentage over the three years was Bexley with just 1%, though this is due largely to a loss of 329 in 2015/16 primarily due to regeneration work. Its previous years’ percentages had been 31% and 21%. Harrow was the next lowest in percentage terms at 2% (it too lost affordable stock in 2015/16), followed by Bromley (5%), Redbridge (7%) and Hillingdon (11%). The smallest affordable totals were in Bexley (7), Harrow (35), Kensington and Chelsea (67), Redbridge (71) and Bromley (88).
The monitoring report also shows that in 2015/16 alone, the boroughs where largest numbers of housing units of all price types, including student accommodation and homes to buy and rent at full market rates, were built were Wandsworth (3,142), Tower Hamlets (2,881), Lambeth (2,811), Islington (1,956) and Hackney (1,859).
The amounts of new homes built, affordable or otherwise, in different boroughs will reflect the availability and cost of land and type of housing supplier, as well as individual housing policies and local development plans.
The full, three-year affordable supply table is shown on page 32 of the monitoring report.