After lobbying by London Tenants Federation reps, the Mayor is now to spend his affordable housing grant on social rented homes rather than London Affordable Rent. It was announced this month that the Mayor will now use 50% of funding for ‘affordable housing’ in London on social rented homes, with social rent replacing the London Affordable Rent.
This is welcome news. Freedom of Information responses received by London Tenants Federation from 24 London boroughs (so far) show that: among the thirteen of these boroughs to have built new social rented homes over the past ten years, rents and service charges were between £12.66 and £42 per week higher for new tenants than existing tenants’ rents. Rents & service charges in five boroughs which had delivered homes at the new London Affordable Rent level were £43.97 to £86.79 per week higher for new tenants than existing tenants’ rents. The rent increase paid by tenants in new London Affordable Rent homes is clearly significantly higher than those in new social rent homes.
While it is good news that the London Affordable Rent is to be replaced by social rent, it is not clear what this will translate to in terms of numbers of social rented homes delivered. In the most recent Annual Monitoring Report of the London Plan (that for 2017/18), only 433 additional social rented homes were delivered.