Today, I and my Labour Assembly Member colleagues challenged the Mayor of London on the delivery of affordable housing at the Olympic Park.
The Mayor, as chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) appeared before the London Assembly at City Hall. There are concerns that the affordable housing will be undermined by the introduction of expensive service charges and that the larger, family-sized, properties will be targeted at the private sector.
As lead Labour Assembly Member on Regeneration, I am deeply concerned that the promises made for affordable housing at the Olympic Park will not be delivered. There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in London, but particularly affordable family homes. To be a long-term success and truly become a new London neighbourhood we need mixed communities and that includes family housing as well. The last thing we want to see is families on modest incomes priced out of the Olympic Park and for it to become an enclave of the rich.
The Olympics and Paralympics were a huge success and showed modern Britain at its very best with the world looking on with envy. We cannot forget the promises made to local residents who had to deal with a long construction phase and disruption. Other Olympic cities have failed to deliver any meaningful legacy with their stadiums and athletes’ villages becoming white elephants. London is poised to deliver for local residents, but the housing has to be affordable and that includes for local families.
The Mayor must deliver on promises that have been made, and this is something that I will be monitoring very closely.