Local authorities are sitting on almost £1bn of money pledged by developers to build affordable housing.
Estates Gazette has found through Freedom of Information requests that £1.2bn in affordable housing payments has been committed by developers since 2010 – but only 20% has been spent.
London’s 11 inner boroughs received over £800m – 68% of the UK total – but have so far spent just 8%.
The revelations are set to cause anger as the housing crisis deepens.
Some of the councils say they have large-scale regeneration programmes in hand, and that while the money has not yet been spent, it has been allocated.
Anthony Lee, senior director at development consultancy BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: “Spending the money is where councils struggle.
“Many are not geared up as developers any more – that skill has largely disappeared.”