Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said a 50% affordable housing legacy from the 2012 Olympic games would create a “ghetto” feeling which would make the private homes unattractive for affluent home buyers.
The Mayor’s comments came in response to a question from Liberal Democrat Assembly member Dee Doocey at this morning’s Mayor’s Question Time.
Doocey asked Mayor Johnson whether increased use of public funds to build the Olympic village should lead to an increase on the current target of 30% of affordable homes.
In response the Mayor said he was wary of creating a “ghetto feeling” by increasing the target and appeared to suggest that it was more important that the remainder of homes be attractive to the better off than to use the games to tackle London’s shortage of affordable homes.
The Mayor’s remarks are likely to be seized on by his opponents who have ben critical of the decision to scrap the GLA’s London-wide target of 50% of all new homes to be affordable, instead City Hall officials are negotiating individual targets with each borough.
Separately, the Mayor agreed to regularly publish the performance of councils against their affordable housing targets but was pressed by Labour’s Len Duvall to ensure that councils did not pass off rebuilt social homes as dwellings built under their targets.
Today’s session was also marked by an angry exchange between the Mayor and Green Party AM Jenny Jones who called Johnson “a liar” after Mr Johnson said his administration was the first in London not to ask the public for more money.
Jones claimed the Mayor’s forthcoming fare increase proved this was not the case. A clearly angry Johnson hit back, stressing that he’d been referring to the lack of an increase in the GLA’s council tax precept.
Johnson also received a hard time from Labour’s John Biggs over the decision to cease all development work on the Thames Gateway Bridge. As previously reported there was qualified support for the Mayor from the Green Party AM Darren Johnson and Tory AMs were generally more supportive although Roger Evans AM has said elsewhere that he’s “disappointed” to lose the project.