The majority of homes in the Achilles development will be private

As the chart shows, the majority of homes in the development are private – either for sale or rent. Both of which are unaffordable to people on low incomes. The second largest tenure after private sale or rent is London affordable rent. This is a distinct tenure and is not social rent. As Table 1 demonstrates, households could spend £3,000 a year more on London Affordable rent than social rent.

Only 11% of homes in the new development are for social rent and these are only going to existing social tenants. This means there is no net increase in social rent housing. Social rent is the only truly affordable tenure to people on low incomes.

10% of the homes in the proposed development are so-called ‘affordable homes’. This includes both Shared Ownership and London Living Rent. As Shelter argues, ‘at least half of households under 40 in England wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a shared ownership property in 2020’. This is not an affordable tenure to people on low incomes. Neither is London Living Rent. A recent IPPR report suggests that London Living rent ‘is an intermediate housing designed to support those on average incomes into home ownership’.

4% of homes are an unknown tenure. These are for current leaseholders on the Achilles estate. This means that there is no clear offer to existing leaseholds and these 20 homes could end up being private homes for sale or rent.

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Figure 1 Tenure breakdown of the proposed Achilles redevelopment. Source: Lewisham Council (2019) Achilles Street Landlord Offer

Weekly social rent in Lewisham (17/18) Annual social rent in Lewisham (17/18) Weekly London Affordable Rent (17/18) Annual London Affordable Rent (17/18) Annual disparity
One bedroom £84 £4,368 £144 £7,488 £3,120
Two bedroom £95 £4,940 £153 £7,956 £3,016
Three bedroom £111 £5,772 £161 £8,372 £2,600

Table 1 The difference between social rent and London Affordable Rent. Source: MHCLG, Local authority housing statistics data returns, England 2017-18, Section H – Local authority Rents and Rent Arrears and GLA (2016) Homes for Londoners, Affordable Homes Programme 2016-21 Funding Guidance, Mayor of London

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