Mayor Boris Johnson today unveiled plans to build up to 1,500 new affordable homes in the area occupied by the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
A total of 6,800 homes will be built across the park in five new housing villages. The developer, Taylor Wimpey, will start initial construction of the neighbourhood in 2014.
The plan is to have the first residents move into the area by 2016. The homes will link Hackney Wick and Fish Island with the Olympic park, providing housing and key community facilities like primary schools, nurseries and retail units.
Dennis Hone, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “The new neighbourhoods as East Wick and Sweetwater will exemplify the best of London’s residential architecture with a range of family homes and apartments.”
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “Our goal is to create vibrant new neighbourhoods to include a range of affordable housing choices for Londoners. There’s a huge need for more homes in the capital and this pressure will only increase as the city grows.”
However, Mike Wells, 54, an Olympic researcher and contributor to Games Monitor, argues that “affordable housing is a slippery term which we must remain wary of.”
He adds: “What does affordable mean and to whom does it apply? Yes it might be affordable for people who are earning over £80,000 or have a combined household income of that amount but who do you actually know who is earning a figure like that?”
Wells remains dubious of the housing legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.
“The Olympics has cost a total of £24bn yet there has only been a net increase of 300 houses. Lets face it the olympics legacy is not about providing housing or infrastructure for ordinary londoners. It is about making construction company developers richer at the taxpayers offence.”
The Legacy Development is still looking for a developer to take on the East Wick and Sweetwater project.
The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which is located south of the Hackney Marsh, occupies an area bordering four east London boroughs: Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.