Mayor Biggs Has Built 827 New Homes, Not 2,046

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets is falsely claiming that his administration has delivered 2,046 new social housing homes when its own data shows that it has delivered 827.

This is a clear attempt by Tower Hamlets Labour Party to claim that the Mayor’s electoral promise in 2018 to deliver over 2,000 new homes has been met.

This claim is not true.

It is not a mistake, it is a deliberate attempt to mislead residents as housing will once again be a key issue in the Mayoral and local elections in May.

Housing figures in Tower Hamlets Council ‘housing report’

From the numbers published in its ‘housing report’ shown above it is simple to work out what the reality is.

827 new homes completed and occupied. These are a combination of new build and purchases*

The housing report could end right there as, assuming the 827 number is accurate, these homes can be lived in. That seems a reasonable definition.

The other homes listed cannot be lived in because 224 are being built, 184 are waiting for building to start, 42 homes only have planning permission, 451 homes do not have planning permission and 318 only exist on paper.

Despite this it is claimed that “In total, this means the council is delivering and has delivered 2,046 additional homes.”

2,046 being just above the magic number of 2,000 more homes promised by the Mayor at the last election.

In an attempt to add even more gloss on the numbers it is also claimed that registered housing providers have delivered over 5,900 new affordable homes in the borough from 2015/16 to December 2021.

The Enquirer has not confirmed the validity of any of the housing numbers quoted above, we have asked the Council for their source.

*(Note that these are a mix of new builds and purchased properties, so it is possible that some of these are contained in our recent stories about the hidden £156m of hidden council spending the Enquirer discovered by chance and is still investigating as the £156m included £111m spent on housing.)

Enquirer Comment

It is not uncommon to meet people in Tower Hamlets who have been on the waiting list for social housing for ten years, sometimes longer.

This puts enormous pressure on council administrations to deliver new homes and reduce these waiting times. This in turn leads to deliberately misleading claims by politicians.

It should be self-evident that a house is only a home when it has been built.

It is not a home when it only exists in a housing programme, is part of a planning application or just an idea in someone’s head.

And when is a housing report not a housing report? When it is a 620 word PR puff piece on a web page, that’s when.

If there really is a housing report somewhere, with all the data qualified, then we would love to see it.