Here are some more facts regarding the affordable housing situation at King's Cross Central than were printed in CNJ story today (link to follow) on loss of social homes. Warning: it differs somewhat from the slant given in the article by William McClellan.
The reduction in the number of affordable homes in the development is primarily caused by the enormous losses in subsidy for social housing announced by the coalition government in 2011. Whereas there used to be around £120k available for each home, there is now only around £30k provided from the GLA - a very big reduction given the high cost of providing social housing in inner London.
While the Phase 1 social housing on York Way at King's Cross is being delivered at a cost of £37 million in public subsidy, the post-2011 funding regime affects Phase 2 that is not yet built.
The cut in grant means that a clause is triggered in the planning agreement from 2006 that leads to a so-called 'cascade' from 148 social rented units down to 74 units.
Rather than accept this, the council has negotiated with the developer, Argent, to protect as many of the social rented units as possible.
The deal involves converting some of the intermediate housing, such as Homebuy units, into units for private sale. This has meant that we can deliver 127 units at social rent rather than 74. These are social rented units, not homes at the Mayor's 80% market rent.
It's clearly very bad that we have to accept any loss in social units, however, the 's106 agreement' was conceived in 2006 before the bank recession and five years before the full horror of the Tory approach to social housing was known.
We are trying to make the best of a bad situation and protect the kind of housing that is genuinely affordable to the people on our housing waiting list, rather than those earning £70k per year who might be able to afford a shared ownership flat at King's Cross.