Boris Johnson said increasing housing is his “top priority” when he visited Barnet this afternoon.

The Mayor of London visited Alexandra Road, in Muswell Hill, to see the first new houses built in the borough for 20 years.

His visit was picketed by angry protestors from the West Hendon Estate, who were campaigning for more affordable housing in the area.

Addressing the crowds - minus the campaigners - at the Freehold Community Centre, he said: “Helping boroughs to increase the number of good quality, decent sized, family homes across the capital is one of my top priorities.

“With more funds and greater freedoms, and alongside my plans to double house building across London and address a 30 year shortage in new supply, places like Barnet can make a real contribution to helping hardworking Londoners into the homes they deserve.”

The two four bedroom and one three bedroom homes in Alexandra Road are now home to three families, who have until now been in temporary accommodation.

The homes were built in September 2013 and completed in February 2014, and cost a total of £540,000.

They were handed over to Barnet Homes at midday on Friday, February 28 and by 3pm the residents had received the keys to their new homes.

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “We are not here to announce broad brush targets, but real homes for Barnet families.

“I am pleased that we have started building council housing in the borough, and family houses at that, after more than 20 years.

“This is part of something bigger and we expect to build more houses over the coming year, with more new homes the year after that. This council has a very good record of delivering new homes, of all tenures, which is something of which I am very proud.”

Planning applications for 40 more homes on six further sites in the next phase of development will be submitted by the end of April 2014.

The programme will start on site in September and that all sites will be complete by the Autumn of 2015.

Feasibility studies are also underway for an extra care unit in Mill Hill, to house residents with dementia.