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Revealed: The number of affordable homes built in Newham last year

PUBLISHED: 10:36 17 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 17 May 2019

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Newham Mayor Rohksana Fiaz on a visit to homeowners in Florence Road East Ham as part of the Building Homes for Londoners programme.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Newham Mayor Rohksana Fiaz on a visit to homeowners in Florence Road East Ham as part of the Building Homes for Londoners programme.

Archant

Hundreds of 'affordable' homes were built in Newham last year, according to new figures from City Hall.

The 683 homes bring the number of those started in the capital to more than 14,500.

Looking at government figures, this is the most started for 34 years - since 1985.

"This is great news and testament to the hard work of the council in delivering more of the genuinely affordable homes London so urgently needs," said mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

"Councils are beginning to build again after decades of their hands being tied behind their backs - but national government needs to match our ambition and determination to deliver the homes Londoners so urgently need."

"We currently receive only a fraction of the affordable housing investment needed in London," Mr Khan added. "Ministers must make a real step-change in the funding and powers we have in London if we are to truly turn around the capital's housing crisis."

More than 200 new council homes were started in Newham according to the borough's mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz.

"I'm looking forward to meeting the residents on our waiting list who will move in when complete."

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Just over 40 per cent of the 14,544 'affordable' homes built in the last financial year were at social rents or were council homes.

But the definition of 'affordable' can vary wildly.

The minimum rent reduction for a property to qualify as affordable is 80 per cent of market rate - a discount that still leaves a home out of reach of many.

This is as the number of council homes is slowly eroded by losses under right-to-buy - the Thatcher-era policy that allows tenants to buy their council homes.

Since its introduction in 1982, right-to-buy has cost Newham nearly 10,000 homes.

These losses hit the borough particularly hard in the context of the huge waiting list for affordable homes.

Government figures show over 26,000 households were on the list in Newham in 2018 - the highest of anywhere in London that year.

Along with house-building, curbing or ending right-to-buy is a leading item on Ms Fiaz's agenda.

In an effort to address the crisis in Newham and across London, Mr Khan has said he is investing £1 billion to build 14,700 new council homes over the next three years. That includes 11,000 social rented homes.

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