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To the Manor born - 15% affordable housing in the Aftermath Zone?

Back in September Games Monitor reported that the amount of affordable housing in the Aftermath Zone (it's time to think of some more imaginative names than the QEII Park - suggestions welcome) would be reduced to 28%. The LLDC had waited to reveal this to, of all people, an American Community Land Trust organiser, Greg Rosenberg, who was visiting London to promote CLTs.

In November the BBC provided further insight into what was intended with a warning that, depending on 'viability', the level of affordable housing in the zone may fall to 20%. The BBC was referring to the housing to be built at Chobham Manor, which it described as being where the Basketball Arena stood, failing as usual to mention that this was the location of the Clays Lane Housing Co-operative, which had provided cheap housing for up to 500 people, the Park Village student estate, home to up to another 500 people and the Clays Lane Travellers Site.

So before any gain in 'affordable housing' can be claimed this 100% total of cheap homes for 1000 people and a travellers' site for another 50 or so people would have to be provided. The BBC simply forgot to mention that historical legacy or recall such a down market name as Clays Lane.

The BBC did, however, point out that of the 240 or so affordable homes planned for the Manor 100 were expected to be part rent/part buy and 70 would be rented at 80% of market value. A three bedroom home in Stratford is at present likely to be rented at around £1500 a calendar month meaning an 'affordable' rent for these homes would be well over £1000 a month. Only 70 homes will be available at social rents or what counts as a council rent at present.

Boris Johnson, when he was interviewed by the BBC, was allowed to get away with suggesting the Athletes' or Olympic Village, on the Stratford City site next to the Aftermath Zone, was a part of the Olympic Park and that the 50% level of affordable housing on that site was 'well over my target of 35%' as if this had something to do with him. This is not so. The Athletes' Village received planning approval under a different planning application and has nothing to do with the so-called legacy. Johnson wants to include its 50% affordable housing in the overall calculation in order to beef up the affordable element to his supposed target of 35%, which he is already failing to meet.

The reality is that if 'viability' means the level of affordable housing falls to 20% on the basis that this includes the 50% at the Olympic Village then the real level may be closer to 15%. Subtract the original truly affordable homes for over 1000 people at Clays Lane and hey presto Chobham Manor shows a deficit.

Who wants to live in a lane when you can have a manor?

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