A damning indictment of ‘affordable housing’ in London
Trafalgar place is one of the many new housing developments in and around the Elephant & Castle ‘regeneration zone’, an area seemingly pounced upon for development due no doubt to the combination of great location and relatively cheap land.
Having fallen for the charms of Walworth I’d been keeping an eye on this particular project for some time. I knew that shared ownership properties would be available here (the only realistic option for many) and like a patient acorn hoarding squirrel I’d been saving up a deposit waiting for the right opportunity. When I received an email recently informing me that prices for the shared ownership properties had been published, I was excited!
This excitement soon turned to disbelief however when I discovered both the price of the ‘affordable’ properties and the quantity available.
There’s no easy way of saying this so I’ll just come out with it, the cheapest price for a modestly sized two bed flat at Trafalgar Place is £605,000.
And the amount of properties available at this price?
The numbers don’t read much better when you consider that out of the 235 properties available, just 28 have been designated for ‘affordable housing’, working out at a miserly 12%.
And to be eligible for this particular property, you require a minimum income of £61,000 if you live outside the borough of Southwark, and £46.184 within (the former is nearly double the average income in London) and a deposit of £17,500. To put this into some sort of context, if you’re able to save £100 per month, it would take more than 14 and a half years to raise the deposit for just 25% of this property.
It is patently clear that we need many more affordable homes for full purchase, shared ownership and rent, at realistic prices and for all family types.
Will change come? I certainly hope so!
This post was adapted from a longer one on David’s own blog.
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