Plan for over 1,000 new council homes in Newham green-lit

Cabinet member for housing John Gray, mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, and deputy mayor for housing, J

Cabinet member for housing John Gray, mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz, and deputy mayor for housing, James Murray. Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Archant

Newham Council will build more than 1,000 new homes in the next three years according to a plan that’s passed the authority’s cabinet.

A total of 1,056 new social homes are planned, with another 371 sold as shared ownership, equity and market rates to help pay for the programme.

It means just under three-quarters of the homes in the £223 million scheme will be social.

The council has ear-marked 26 sites across areas like Canning Town, East Ham and Forest Gate for the developments.

Newham's mayor Rokhsana Fiaz heralded it as a historic move at the July 2 meeting and claimed it's the most ambitious housing plan the borough has seen for 40 years.

"We are ready to disrupt an already broken housing delivery model and system," she said.

Mayor Fiaz told the Recorder after the meeting: "This decision is symbolic of councils now being in the driving seat, responding to the needs of their residents and actually building something that we need to consider as a basic human right: a roof over your head."

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She added the council will continue to lobby government for more power to build homes and to end the controversial Right-to-Buy scheme.

Newham has lost more than 10,000 council homes since the policy came into effect in the 1980s and allows tenants to buy their homes at a discount.

Currently, tenants can get up to £110,000 off the going price under Right-to-Buy.

The policy has been criticised for taking homes out of council hands and into the private rented sector, making worse the already long wait for social housing.

The hope is the new plan will put a dent in the borough's own 27,000-strong housing waiting list.

Another 5,200 families are in temporary accommodation in Newham as of March this year.

The council is also hoping to boost the borough's economy with the new developments by taking 'community wealth building' into account when they decide on contractors.

Training and employment for residents along with new commercial, leisure and community spaces are all on the authority's wish-list.

The money for these new homes is on top of the £380m invested for existing council homes over the next 10 years.