Wandsworth: sharp rise in affordable housing completions

Published: 1 July 2016

New data shows there were 501 affordable homes built in Wandsworth in 2015/16, more than double the previous year’s total – and with 1,742 more in the pipeline.

The number built in 2014/15 was already the second highest among the 13 inner London boroughs, so the major increase is set to position Wandsworth as one of the leading local authorities for affordable housing delivery.

The figures are revealed in the council’s Affordable Housing Update report, which goes before the housing and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee on 6 July, and provides a snapshot of the provision of new homes for low-cost rent and home ownership in the borough.

The 501 total includes 167 homes for low-cost rent, 103 of which will be let at less than half of market rents. Priority for these homes goes to social housing tenants needing to move, downsize, or are in urgent need, as well as low income families.

The remaining 334 affordable properties completed last year were for shared ownership, of which 96 per cent were sold to people living or working in the borough, with an average total household income of £45,500.

Cllr Paul Ellis, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The Wandsworth approach is to enable development - not impose affordable housing quotas which can impede plans - and our strong performance in inner London is something the new City Hall administration should look to.  

“Ensuring a range of affordable homes is vital, not only for residents’ children, but also for working households that are key to the local economy and services. Looking further ahead we have planning permission granted recently for another 358 homes for low-cost rent and shared ownership, and 385 for social rent, so even more are on the way.”

The report also states that 44 council tenants became homeowners through taking up their Right to Buy in the last year. This generated £3.4million for the council to invest in its home building programme, with more than 280 low cost rent homes planned.

The council promotes homeownership through its House Purchase Grant scheme which helped 32 council tenants to buy a property of their own on the open market. This initiative frees up council rented homes for other local households, and a budget of more than £2million has been agreed to help more purchases this year.

Looking forward, the report forecasts that a further 1,742 affordable homes are expected to complete within the next three years, suggesting last year’s increase in supply will be sustainedWandsworth’s housing strategy aims at delivering 18,000 homes during the next ten years, double the target of a decade ago.

The council is also set to build around 2,500 new homes at the Winstanley, York Road and Alton council housing estates, with a pledge to reprovide all council housing on site, plus additional properties for market rent, social rent, and low-cost rent, along with new community facilities, jobs and apprenticeships, and refurbishments, paid for by building properties for sale.

You can check your eligibility for affordable housing with the council’s dedicated home ownership team: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/sharedownership  / housesales@wandsworth.gov.uk

To find out about new affordable housing schemes sign up for the council’s weekly e-newsletter at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/e-news

You can read the Affordable Housing Update report here: https://democracy.wandsworth.gov.uk/documents/s44490/Affordable%20Housing%20Update.pdf


Notes to editors

The images show Pocket Living’s Mapleton Crescent scheme, set to deliver 53 affordable apartments, in SW18, granted planning permission last year, and an interior of one of the 116 shared ownership homes at Viridian housing association’s Riverlight development at Nine Elms.