Developers can’t afford affordable homes in luxurious Kensington and Chelsea

Or in relatively luxurious East Devon, too!

More than 700 promised social homes in Kensington and Chelsea have been lost “in large part due to a legal loophole” where developers use viability assessments to reduce the number they are required to build, Shelter has claimed.

Research conducted by EG for the housing charity suggested that developers had managed in this way to reduce the amount of affordable housing from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s policy target of 50% to only 15% on those schemes.

“This gap between the council’s target and what was eventually permitted is equivalent to 831 affordable homes, of which 706 would have been social homes, which have not been built,” Shelter said. It added that this would have been more than enough to house families made homeless from the Grenfell Tower fire.

Shelter called on the Government “to change the law so big developers can no longer use the loophole to boost profits”.

Chief executive Polly Neate said: “At a time when we desperately need more affordable homes, big developers are allowed to prioritise their profits by building luxury housing while backtracking on their promises to build a fair share of affordable homes.

“The government must make sure we treat affordable housing commitments as cast iron pledges, rather than optional extras, and act now to close the loophole that allows developers to wriggle out of building the affordable homes this country urgently needs.” …