Newham Council to bid for £150 million funding to build 1,000 extra homes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:12 06 September 2018

A groundbreaking ceremony at the Brunel Street Works in Canning Town, one of Newhams key housing projects which will build 975 homes. Picture: Robert Greshoff

A groundbreaking ceremony at the Brunel Street Works in Canning Town, one of Newhams key housing projects which will build 975 homes. Picture: Robert Greshoff

Robert Greshoff Photography

Newham could be getting 1,000 new homes after the council decided to bid for £150 million funding.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana FiazMayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz

At a cabinet meeting last week, councillors agreed to submit a number of bids to the Greater London Authority (GLA) to deliver the housing programme.

The first bid will be for £108 million from the GLA’s Building Council Homes for Londoners scheme, with the potential to increase this to up to £150 million. It will be submitted alongside a request to use receipts of £62 million from homes sold under Right to Buy.

Newham’s mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “These bids will help us to deliver a substantial proportion of the homes I promised to our residents when I stood for election back in May.

“I am also determined to use our Right to Buy receipts to correct the unfair measures which means we are losing social homes at such at a rapid rate. I will do all I can to accelerate house building in Newham so we can tackle the housing crisis facing our borough.”

When she was elected, Ms Fiaz pledged to build 1,000 homes at social rents over the next four years. In the mayor of London’s London Plan, Sadiq Khan promised to build 65,000 homes a year, half of which would be affordable. Newham’s share of this is 3,850 homes per year.

Ms Fiaz said: “I am committed to finding a solution to the lack of genuinely affordable housing for residents in Newham so that they are able to stay in the borough that they call home.

“With more than 24,000 people on our waiting list and 6,000 homeless households in temporary and emergency accommodation, it is critical that we maximise all funding opportunities available so that we can build as many new genuinely affordable homes as possible.”

In the bid, the council has outlined 46 council-owned sites in Newham which could deliver 2,100 new homes, around 1,000 of which would be at London affordable rent levels, which are comparable to council rent levels.

The council will also be asking for room to borrow additional Housing Revenue Account (HRA) of up to £53 million. The Housing Revenue Account holds the costs for housing, like rent and property maintenance. Councils can bid for more borrowing headroom from the GLA to support the building of new homes.

The bids will be submitted by September 30, with successful applications being announced in autumn.

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