Ken Livingstone yesterday hailed “the largest” number of new homes to be built in the for 30 years.
Figures released by the Greater London Authority showed that more than 33,000 new homes were built in London last year with almost 12,000 affordable new homes built.
Mr Livingstone said “housing is now Londoners’’ main concern, and these figures, coupled with more investment for affordable housing, demonstrate that the prospects for building more homes are encouraging.”
“We are really getting to grips with London’s housing crisis and this news proves that setting targets for new homes, especially affordable homes, is essential if we are to offer all Londoners the opportunity of a home of their own.”
Conservative Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson said the figures showed the Mayor had failed to meet his target of 50% of news homes being affordable.
Mr Johnson said: “there are fewer affordable housing completions in London today than when Ken Livingstone started. Yet he brands anyone who suggests an alternative to his failed approach as being ‘anti-affordable housing’, which is typical of his out of date, 1980’s style attitude.”
The Mayor also welcomed the setting up of a new body, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), to support housing and regeneration. The HCA will be formed by the merger of the Housing Corporation and English Partnerships with the Mayor chairing a new HCA board for London.
HCA Chief Executive Sir Bob Kerslake said the capital “will form a key part of the programme of the new Homes and Communities Agency.”
“The key to the delivery of more high quality affordable homes in London is for the HCA to support the delivery of the Mayor’s housing strategy through the establishment of a close working relationship with the Mayor’s Office and every London Borough. That is what this new arrangement will secure.”