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Mayor Forced To Defend 'Affordable' Housing

Wednesday 25th June 2014

Boris Johnson has been held to account by thousands of Londoners in the State of London debate, hosted by LBC.

During a 90 minute grilling the Mayor was forced to defend his record on building affordable homes in London but also admitted far more still need to be built.

"We've already built a record number of such affordable homes - 78,000 affordable homes and, let me tell you, in one year of this administration in London there were more council homes built than in 13 years of Labour's administration," he said in answer to a series of questions on the topic.

"A phenomenal amount of homes [will be] built over the next two years," he said after being pushed on figures by LBC's Nick Ferrari, who was hosting the event at the indigO2 at the O2 Arena.

"I'm wagering here but I would not be surprised if, in the next few years, we build a record number, more than have ever been built over the last 30 years."

With the average house price in London now being 485,000 the Mayor of London was also forced to clarify what exactly he means by 'affordable'.

"I totally accept that these homes are moving beyond the reach of most people but what we mean by affordable housing is it's got to be an average of 65% of the market rent, whatever that is for the area."

Nick Ferrari quickly pointed out that in Camden affordable housing is set at 80% of market value.

"Because that's the top that Camden are allowed to charge and actually they must ensure that there average is 65% so not all the properties will be at 80%," Boris replied.

"The answer, to the question who these homes are for, they are for everybody, they're for the people who work in London and upon whom the London economy absolutely depends, those are the people we are trying to support."

- The State of London Debate: Watch In Full

- Boris Fails To Impress LBC Twitter Worm