Council vows to build 600 new genuinely affordable homes

Published: 14 May 2019

Redbridge Council has set out ambitious plans to build 600 genuinely affordable permanent homes for borough residents struggling with the impact of austerity, spiralling private sector rents and benefit changes.

The direct housebuilding programme will account for a sizeable part of its overall aim of creating 1000 affordable homes in the borough, placing it at the forefront in the fight against the housing crisis.

A report to Cabinet highlights the historically low levels of investment in social housing in the borough, leaving Redbridge with the second smallest sector in the capital.

It adds that this under supply, along with houses prices increasing by over 50 per cent in ten years and private rents rising by 20 per cent over the last five, has led to long waits for social housing and numbers in temporary accommodation increasing.

The current Administration began to reverse this trend in 2015 and working with other providers, 70 new affordable homes were let last year.      

The major intervention to tackle the shortage outlined in the report means the council will become the largest provider of new social homes in the borough.

Reflecting the ambition of the council’s housebuilding target, the Mayor of London announced in November that Redbridge Council will receive £20million towards its construction programme.  Overall, the council will invest more than £100million in building new homes.

Jackie Odunoye, Operational Director for Housing at Redbridge Council, said: “We appreciate the very real challenge Redbridge families face finding genuinely affordable housing.  To ensure the availability of safe, secure and good quality accommodation for local people caught in the housing crisis we are doing what we can by starting our own construction programme to build 600 genuinely affordable homes in the borough.  These properties will provide Redbridge families with the opportunity to give their children the very best start in life which would otherwise be impacted by poor quality accommodation.”

The Cabinet is set to agree the next phase of the New Build Programme when it meets to discuss the report tonight (14 May).

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