Sadiq Khan’s pledge to tackle London’s housing crisis has come under renewed fire as it was revealed that affordable home building in the capital has slumped to its lowest level since 2017.
Work began on only 272 new affordable homes funded by City Hall in the first three months of the new financial year, according to latest figures. That is the lowest for the quarter in four years.
Critics say Mr Khan has been slow to spend the £4.82 billion he received from the Government’s Affordable Homes Programme in 2016.
That was supposed to deliver 116,000 new affordable homes by 2022, though the deadline was extended to 2023 due to complications including the pandemic.
The Mayor has more than 43,000 homes left to start under that programme within the next two years.
Andrew Boff, housing spokesman for the City Hall Conservatives, said the Mayor needs to “turbo-charge” his housebuilding efforts if he is to meet his targets.
He said: “While the first quarter of yearly housing figures tends to be low with most homes being started later in the year, this number is exceptionally low – especially considering the huge number of homes the Mayor still needs to start.
“Unless the Mayor turbo charges City Hall’s efforts, he will have squandered the opportunity the Government’s unprecedented housing grant has given him to help thousands of Londoners onto the housing ladder.”
But the Mayor’s office dismissed Mr Boff’s comments and said Mr Khan had met every one of his affordable housing targets.
A spokesman added: “Affordable housing completions have increased every year under Sadiq from an historic low in the final year of the previous mayoralty.”