London mayor criticised for £120m housing underspend

London Mayor's failure to spend on affordable homes criticised

Related Stories

The revelation there is to be a £120m underspend on building affordable homes shows London's mayor is failing to meet his targets, his critics say.

Boris Johnson has been criticised by opposition parties after City Hall committed to spend £283m in 2013-14, but thinks it will spend only £163m.

The number of affordable homes built has also more than halved, since 2011.

Mr Johnson pledged to build 100,000 homes by the end of his term in May, and his office says he is on target.

The London administration received money to build affordable housing from two funds - £207.7m from the National Affordable Housing Programme and £76.1m from the Affordable Homes Programme.

'Re-profiling budgets'

But, it expects to spend about £138m from the former and £25m from the latter - leaving an unused budget of more than £120m this year.

Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group in the London Assembly, said: "The London housing crisis demands urgent action, people would want to know what this money needs to be spent on, why its not being spent on the housing that we need now in London."

On Thursday, City Hall's Investment and Performance Board was told the capital underspend "primarily related to re-profiling of the Affordable Homes Programme and the National Affordable Housing Programme budgets".

This, the mayor's office said, means they now pay developers the full amount after they have completed projects, rather than giving them 75% at first and the remainder on completion.

For 2013-14, the administration expects to build 7,086 affordable homes compared to 8,114 houses the year before - a near 50% drop from 2011-12, when 16,173 homes were built.

Mayor's 'record abysmal'

More than 12,800 affordable homes were built in 2010-11.

Richard Blakeway, deputy mayor for housing, said: "The way we are operating is we have commitments from developers to build the homes and we will pay them when they build them and we are on target to build 100,000 homes by the end of this mayoral term."

Explaining the variation in the number of homes delivered he said: "You will get these ebbs and flows, these peaks and troughs, overall the numbers will be high but that pattern of getting there is entirely the result of the way in which the London government is funded".

But, Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, said: "The mayor says that delivering affordable housing is the most important priority for London but when it comes to actual delivery his record is abysmal."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

20 °C 12 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 11:57:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 12:00:

    • The Green Party claims two of the proposed new cycle superhighways, from Penge to the City and East Finchley to Angel, have been scrapped due to spiralling costs
     
  2.  
    Dairy Crest jobs cut in London 11:45:

    Dairy products firm Dairy Crest is to close a creamery in Somerset and bottling dairy in London, with the loss of 260 jobs.

    Dairy Crest jobs cut in London

    Two hundred people work at the dairy in Hanworth, west London, where milk is put into glass bottles, while the remaining jobs will go at the creamery in Chard.

     
  3.  
    Alice search continues 11:33:

    Police divers will continue to search the River Brent near Ealing Hospital today, close to where the missing 14-year-old Alice Gross was last seen.

    Find Alice poster

    A knife which was found in the water yesterday has been sent for forensic analysis.

     
  4.  
    Bus journeys falling 11:17:

    Bus journeys in London fell in spring, with 591.7 million passenger trips being taken between January and March compared to 604.7 million in the previous three months.

    Commenting on its seasonally adjusted figures, the Department for Transport said bus usage has been "broadly flat" since huge growth in passenger numbers up to 2009.

     
  5.  
    News on the hour 11:00:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 11:00:

     
  6.  
    Have your say on superhighways 10:51:

    A consultation into changes to the notorious Cycle Superhighway 2 from Whitechapel to Bow begins today.

    Cycle superhighway design

    A number of cyclists have died on CS2 and the plans look at segregating most of the route. Some businesses have raised concerns about plans to build segregated cycle routes on Embankment.

     
  7.  
    Suspected bomb-maker arrested 10:42:

    A 37-year-old man has been arrested at his home in north west London by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of making improvised explosive devices in Iraq in 2007.

    The man remains in custody at a south London police station.

     
  8.  
    Theatres make gender equality pledge 10:25:

    Leading English theatres have committed to making changes in their programming and working practices to address gender inequality in the theatre industry.

    Theatre

    They include the Almeida, Tricycle and Young Vic theatres in London; the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC); and the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

     
  9.  
    Man arrested on bomb-making suspicion BREAKING NEWS

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices in Iraq in 2007.

     
  10.  
    Rail delay information 'lacking' 10:10:

    Only a third of rail passengers are happy with the way their train company deals with delays or cancellations, a survey has suggested.

    Rail delay information 'lacking'

    Passenger Focus's survey said rail customers found Twitter had better information than station staff, and said that while improvements had been made by rail companies, more were needed.

     
  11.  
    News on the hour 10:00:

    On BBC London 94.9 at 10:00:

    • A survey's found half of all delayed train journeys in the country are in London and the South East, and only a third of passengers are happy with the way their train company deals with delays or cancellations
     
  12.  
    Ex-Fulham boss admits to cheese advice 09:52:

    Former Fulham boss Felix Magath has admitted he told Brede Hangeland to treat a knee injury with cheese.

    Felix Magath, former Fulham boss

    But the German, who was sacked by the Championship club last week, says the story has been distorted by the media after defender Hangeland claimed Magath told him to treat an injured thigh with a block of cheese soaked in alcohol.

     
  13.  
    Lion King 'most successful' show 09:39:

    Musical The Lion King has taken more money at the box office than any other stage show or cinema release.

    It has made more than $6.2bn (£3.8bn) in ticket sales alone, not counting merchandise, cast recordings or revenue from the film on which it is based, meaning it has overtaken The Phantom of the Opera, even though Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical has been seen by twice as many ticketholders.

     
  14.  
    New RMT union general secretary 09:30:

    Rail, Maritime and Transport Union acting general secretary Mick Cash has been elected its leader following the death of Bob Crow in March.

    Mick Cash

    The 54-year-old, who was Mr Crow's deputy for 12 years, said he was "proud and honoured" to be given the "enormous responsibility".

     
  15.  
    Have your say 09:20:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

     
  16.  
    Londoner bet £900k on Scots vote 09:10:

    An anonymous London man bet £900,000 on a "No" vote in the Scottish independence referendum - and won.

    Londoner bet £900k on Scots vote

    He said the bet was "not a reckless gamble" but rather "a reasoned wage" based on thorough research - although he did make sure to check with his wife first.

     
  17.  
    News on the hour 09:00:
  18.  
    18 rescued in Battersea fire 08:50:

    Eighteen people were rescued by firefighters after a blaze broke out in a tower block in south London.

    18 rescued in Battersea fire

    The Met said 10 people had been treated for minor injuries, while six were taken to hospital for treatment after 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines were sent to the fourth floor of the high-rise block in Battersea at around 16:00 yesterday.

     
  19.  
    On air 08:41: Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    On BBC London 94.9 from 09:00, researchers in London say only half of 5-year-olds have reached a good level of development by the time they start school, and in some parts of the country it's barely a quarter - how can we make that better?

     
  20.  
    Top headlines
  21.  
    Controversial show opens 08:30:

    A controversial exhibition which has been branded as racist by some critics opens at the Barbican today.

    Exhibit B by Brett Bailey features live performers including black men and women shackled and caged.

    Some have denounced it as a detrimental portrayal of black people but the Barbican's defended it as an exploration of black history.

     
  22.  
    Met investigated 08:20:

    A human rights watchdog is to investigate the Met Police after it emerged references to discrimination were deleted from internal reports.

    Carol Howard

    The inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) comes after PC Carol Howard won a discrimination case against the force.

     
  23.  
    Road problems 08:10: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    At Clapham Junction, St John's Hill is closed at Falcon Road (by the station) due to a collision leading delays around the area.

    On the A13, a collision westbound after Prince Regent Lane has added to morning delays all the way in from Rainham.

    For the latest information go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  24.  
    Chilly start 08:04:

    After a chilly start any patchy mist and fog will clear, leaving sunny spells. This afternoon cloud will increase, perhaps bringing some rain later.

    It will feel pleasantly warm in the light winds, with temperatures a little above average for the time of year.

    Highs of 20C (68F)

     
  25.  
    08:00: Matthew Bell BBC News, London

    Good morning, I'll be bringing you all the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk.

     

Features

  • Peaky Blinders publicity shotBrum do

    Why is the Birmingham accent so difficult to mimic?


  • Oliver CromwellA brief history

    The 900-year-story behind the creation of a UK parliament


  • Image of Ankor Wat using lidarJungle Atlantis

    How lasers have revealed an ancient city beneath the forest


  • TigerBard taste? Watch

    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.