John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “We welcome the London Mayor’s commitment to affordable housing across London.
“In Tower Hamlets, we have built the most affordable housing in London. And because we believe that housing should meet the needs of all our communities, one of my first acts as Mayor was to ensure that for new council homes, so-called ‘affordable’ rents were reduced in line with the recommendation of the Tower Hamlets Affordability Commission, and a family living in a new three bed property will be almost £6,000 better off.
“As a borough we have recently announced new Planning Guidance to make agreements with developers more open and transparent.
“I am pleased our success in delivering so many homes has been recognised by the London Mayor, and our target to deliver further housing has been reduced slightly. Other areas of London that have not contributed as much to London’s housing targets need to find ways to take more of the strain. We will continue to play our full part.”
Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development & Waste added:
“London has a housing crisis, and we are doing everything we can in Tower Hamlets to tackle the inequality and social deprivation that it can cause.
“Our approach is not just to meet GLA housing targets, but to ensure our housing is high quality, in line with the needs of our current and expected population and supported by important infrastructure. This is the approach we have embedded in our new Local Plan, which we are currently consulting on.
“We welcome the London Mayor’s calls to the government for additional funding for affordable housing.”
A council spokesperson said:
“New housing, especially affordable housing continues to be delivered in Tower Hamlets in significant numbers.
“We are currently tasked with delivering around 10% of London’s needs in just 1% of its area and have risen to that challenge in recent years with a total of 4260 units delivered in 16-17 exceeding the yearly 3931 target.
“While we welcome a slight reduction in our housing target, we recognise housing need is not slowing down so will continue to assess planning applications and realise appropriate opportunities for further housing development, especially truly affordable housing, where proposals recognise that we are not just house-building; we want more for our residents. We want well-built new housing, especially high quality affordable homes and we want developments to deliver the resources to meet the infrastructure demands of our expanding population such as new schools, new health facilities and transport and open space improvements”.
A City Hall report found 886 affordable homes were built in Tower Hamlets in 2015/16, more than anywhere else in London. More up to date Council figures show Tower Hamlets did even better than reported with 1,070 affordable homes built last year (2016/17) and another 1,073 the year before (2015/16).
The Tower Hamlets Regulation 19 new Local Plan is out for consultation until the 13th of November. For more information please see www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/