Wandsworth Council promises 1,600 new affordable homes
Wandsworth Council has responded to the borough's housing crisis by promising 1,600 new affordable homes.
It comes after the local authority was accused of providing a lack of affordable housing in Nine Elms and other regeneration projects.
A new Wandsworth Affordable Housing Grant Programme (WAHGP) has been set up, with plans to build an extra 130 low cost homes.
The council is investing £4m to help fund the construction.
Opposition councillors claim the council is in the midst of a housing crisis, with thousands waiting for council flats and homeless people living in B&Bs.
There are 3,680 people on the waiting list for a council home, while the average waiting time for a council home was 13 months in 2012/13.
This is a rise since 2011/12 when the average waiting time was 11 months.
Meanwhile high-rise riverfront apartments are being created, flats are selling for millions in Battersea Power Station and only 17 per cent of Nine Elms will include affordable homes.
House prices in the borough have surged by 16.4 per cent, while private rents have risen 14 per cent in the past 12 months adding pressure to the housing situation
It is hoped the WAHGP will help ease the crisis, with money raised from Right to Buy sales and funds provided by developers paying for the homes.
The council has also created 250 hidden homes as part of a scheme which creates affordable homes in underused spaces.
Hidden homes have been built in unwanted laundry rooms, storage areas and boiler rooms.
Councillor Paul Ellis said: "This is an ambitious but achievable target to increase the borough’s supply of affordable housing over the next three to five years.
"We will be putting an initial sum of £4m into this scheme and will be using this money to attract additional investment from housebuilders, construction companies and registered social landlords.
"Our initial aim is to deliver 130 new rental homes for families on low and middle incomes.
"If the scheme is a success then we will certainly look to expand it and raise this target even further in the years ahead."
Harvey Heath, of the Battersea Society, said the amenity group is disappointed over the lack of affordable housing in the Wandsworth part of Nine Elms.
He said: "We want to see a genuine community created in Nine Elms, with a full range of community facilities.
"We would like as much housing as possible to go to meet pressing needs. And we would like to see a substantial proportion of local people filling the new jobs that are going to be generated."
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