Did 2014 see the death of social housing in England and Wales?
Government figures released in November showed completions of new social housing schemes for rent in England had fallen by 71 per cent in two years – from 37,690 to 10,840.
Financial provision for social housing was cut by Tory housing minister Grant Shapps in 2010, replaced by a rise in new ‘affordable’ schemes. But ‘affordable’ is comparative – 80 per cent of market rate in London is clearly out of reach for many.
The figures were condemned, with former RIBA president Angela Brady claiming they showed London was becoming a ‘two-tier’ city. And, where affordable housing was being delivered, it had been uncomfortably jostled to the back of the queue.
For example, of the first 2,400 homes to be delivered at the vast Battersea Power Station development, only three were earmarked as affordable family homes. The majority will not be delivered until the next decade.