Property developers who convert empty properties are to be exempted from commitments to build affordable housing.
The City of Westminster, a Tory council, said it stood to lose £1 billion in affordable housing contributions. But much more will be lost across other boroughs in London and other areas of the country.
The government claims that the previous requirement on developers to pay towards affordable housing was a “stealth tax”, preventing empty properties being redeveloped. Yet development companies are falling over each other to develop unused land, affordable housing tax or not. Property developers are making mega profits from redevelopments, exemptions merely mean they avoid paying for affordable housing even where they can afford it!
Property developers also avoid building and managing affordable homes themselves by making monetary contribution to councils, often much lower than the actual cost of building the quota of affordable housing.
These exemptions allow property developers to increase profits from building in our towns and cities, change the demographics of areas, force rents up and move affordable housing out of the city.