Sadiq Khan is on course to miss one of his key housing targets, critics have claimed, after new figures show that just over 300 homes have been built on land owned by Transport for London (TfL).
In May 2016, TfL said it had set a target to build 10,000 homes by 2020. However, new figures revealed by the London mayor in May reveal that only 322 homes have been built on TfL land since he took office in 2016.
The target was later revised to 10,000 homes by 2021.
Andrew Boff, the Tories housing spokesperson in the London Assembly, asked Khan how many homes had been started on TfL sites between 2016 and the current 2018/19 financial year.
The mayor replied: “London is currently facing a housing crisis and I have been clear that TfL must put its landholdings to better use to build thousands of more affordable homes. TfL’s development programme has accelerated under my mayoralty.”
He said that no new homes had been built on TfL land in 2016/17, but that 276 were built the following year, and 46 in Clapham North. TfL had submitted planning applications for 1,300 homes at the same site.
TfL had also received planning permission to build another 350 new homes in Waltham Forest at Blackhorse Road, with construction due to start shortly.
“By March 2021, under the programme I instigated, TfL expects to have started on sites that will generate 10,000 homes,” he said.
Boff told City A.M: “Before he was elected Sadiq Khan told Londoners that housing was his top priority, yet three years on it is clear that he is spectacularly failing to get a grip on London’s housing crisis. For thousands of Londoners home ownership remains nothing more than a pipe dream.
“Even though Londoners are used to being let down by Sadiq Khan, these new figures will still be met with disbelief. Three years into a five-year programme, this mayor has started a pathetic three percent of the overall number of homes he promised to build on TfL land.
“The mayor has a penchant for blaming others for his own mistakes, but on this he has nowhere to turn. Khan has all the money, the staff and the land he needs to get homes built. What he lacks is the determination and the ability to deliver. The buck stops with him.”
A spokesperson for Khan said: “The mayor is delivering record numbers of new social and affordable homes, starting 14,544 last year – more than in any year since City Hall took control of housing investment in the capital and exceeding the target of 14,000 agreed with government ministers.
“TfL continues to work at pace towards the ambitious target of starting on sites with capacity for 10,000 homes by March 2021, and the programme will continue to build momentum over time, with up to 1,000 homes expected to be started on site by the end of this financial year and the majority of schemes expected to start in 2020/21.”