Dave Hill, The Grauniad‘s London blogger, has sifted through the moving sands that are the housing plans for the Olympic Park after 2012.
In common with many of the nebulous schemes presented by the council for Croydon’s redevelopment, the planners originally portrayed the Olympic Park post-2012 as some Utopian paradise where the residents of million-pound-plus penthouses would live happily cheek-by-jowl with council house residents, or nurses, teachers and police officers living in part-owned, part-rented schemes.
Now, says Hill, with the changes in housing benefit rules, all that could change, and “affordable” housing in London will just be for the quite well-off.
He writes: “Soon ‘affordable’ will demonstrate still greater elasticity. Next month Mayor Johnson will bring into effect his First Steps policy programme, making ‘intermediate’ schemes available to family households with incomes as high as £74,000 a year – rather more than a member of parliament is paid – compared with the present £60,000. (See policy 1.2C on page 22 of his London Housing Strategy).
“Meanwhile, the government is preparing to bring in what it calls its new ‘affordable rent’ model, which will underpin the finances of housing associations. This will require the introduction of housing association rents at a level of ‘up to 80% of gross market rents’ in the area concerned – a figure far higher than the highest at present.”
Might the same apply to the plans for central Croydon?
Are the billionaire developers who are being let loose in Croydon’s town centre really going to spend millions on low-yield but much needed family council housing?
Or will the majority of the homes that they build be in high-rise, top-end of the market, high-profit £250,000-plus “modern apartments”?
Read Dave Hill’s column here: Who will live in the Olympic Park homes?