Newham given £100million to build council homes

Rokhsana Fiaz with her cabinet member for housing, John Gray, and Londons deputy mayor for housing,

Rokhsana Fiaz with her cabinet member for housing, John Gray, and Londons deputy mayor for housing, James Murray. Picture: Andrew Baker - Credit: Archant

Newham has been given more than £100 million to build more council homes - but this will help only a fraction of those on the borough’s waiting list.

As part of the Building Council Homes for Londoners scheme, London mayor Sadiq Khan announced today (Tuesday) he’d be distributing £1bn to 26 boroughs to build council homes.

The £107.4m going to Newham will allow the council to build 1,123 homes, and is the highest amount going to any single borough.

Sadiq Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making. There is no simple fix, but council housing is the most important part of the solution.

“Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play.”

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Newham has more than 27,000 households on the waiting list for a council home, with a further 4,800 in temporary accommodation. This funding will kickstart the building of 1,000 homes at 40 sites across the borough, with work starting by 2022.

When she was elected in May, Newham’s mayor Rokhsana Fiaz committed to building 1,000 homes at social rent levels over the next four years.

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She said: “Newham residents are at the forefront of the housing crisis. Too many families are desperately in need of a sustainable home they can genuinely afford.

“Only through a massive council housebuilding programme can we begin to address the scale of this challenge. I am excited about what this announcement means for Newham and to start work to build hundreds of desperately needed new homes.”

The news was also welcomed by the London Assembly member for City and East, Unmesh Desai, who accused previous governments of “sitting on their hands” when it comes to housebuilding.

He said: “With too many local families priced out of the housing market and stuck in temporary accommodation, it has always been of the utmost priority that we get to grips with the housing crisis as a matter of urgency.

“The government have sat on their hands when it comes to council homebuilding, which fell flat during the 1990s.

“However, we now have an opportunity with this funding to kickstart an ambitious new building programme and provide the next generation of homes for social rent that our community desperately needs.”

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