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  • georgie h

A brief post on "affordable" housing

Updated: Nov 5, 2020


"Affordable housing for rent: meets all of the following conditions: (a) the rent is set in accordance with the Government’s rent policy for Social Rent or Affordable Rent, or is at least 20% below local market rents... ; (b) the landlord is a registered provider, except where it is included as part of a Build to Rent scheme (in which case the landlord need not be a registered provider); and (c) it includes provisions to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision" (National Planning Policy Framework, 2019)

The National Planning Policy Framework breaks down affordable housing into three categories, social rent (which refers to council housing or social housing), affordable rented (private affordable rent) and intermediate housing. The term "affordable housing" is generally used as an umbrella term to cover the 3 categories above, and is often used in campaigns.

The London Living wage is now £10.75, if someone were to be working roughly 35 hours a week they'd earn: £376.25 with this wage however more often than not companies pay their workers minimum wage (£8.72 p/h) and have them employed on 0-hour contracts which means that the hours they work are never 100% secure. When compared to the affordable housing weekly rent benchmarks in the graph above this takes away almost half of someone's wages in a week, often more than half when considering tax and bills on top of this. Often leave people with a small sum of money, for individuals this might be bearable however families with more children/caring responsibilities often have to spend extra.

More and more we are seeing more private developments with less/no council housing. A key example of this is the Heygate Estate, Elephant and Castle in Southwark. The Heygate Estate was built between 1971–1974, it contained 1214 council homes however was demolished between 2011-2014 as a part of the "regeneration" plans for Elephant and Castle. The tweet at the start of this post shows the Heygate Estate before its development and the now complete 'Elephant Park' development, which now has no council housing just 82 "affordable" units.


Greater London Authority, n.d. Table Showing: The Weekly Rent Benchmarks From 2017/18 To 2019/20. [image] Available at: <> [Accessed 14 October 2020].

2019. National Planning Policy Framework. [ebook] Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, p.66. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 October 2020].

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