Tower Hamlets Council has announced the status of important housing milestones, including the progress made on the Mayor’s pledge to deliver 2,000 new council homes.
At a meeting of the Full Council last week, members heard that 1,235 homes are either completed, under construction or ready to begin construction. The new figures also reveal that a further 811 homes are in the planning phase. This brings the total number of additional council homes delivered or in the pipeline up to 2,046.
The council has also revealed that 5,900 new affordable homes have been delivered by registered providers between 2015/16 and December 2021.
The new stats were revealed in a motion to Full Council, highlighting that the housing crisis is one of the greatest challenges facing London today, especially for Tower Hamlets which is one of the fastest growing boroughs in the capital. Tower Hamlets Council is on the frontline in this battle, with around 20,000 people on the housing waiting list, and has been working with the Mayor of London to ensure good quality and affordable homes for residents. The Council has also secured £32million in grant funding from the Mayor of London’s Affordable Housing Programme which will be used to fund an additional 194 new homes for social rent in the borough.
The Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs has hit out at the Government for being “too preoccupied with keeping its Prime Minister in power” that it is failing to deliver on vital issues such as tackling the housing crisis.
The Full Council agreed that the new statistics should be shared with the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities to highlight the work that the council is doing to tackle the housing crisis. Members also agreed to lobby for changes to the use of right to buy receipts to help councils provide more homes.
Councillor Danny Hassell, Cabinet Member for Housing, who proposed the motion said:
“Housing is one of the most pressing issues in London, and having a secure place to call home is difficult for many people due to rising private rents and a lack of genuinely affordable homes.
“I was proud to propose this motion which shows the hard work that we in the Council are doing to deliver truly affordable housing for our residents who need it, and we continue to do this in the face of over a decade of Tory austerity.”
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs said:
“The housing crisis remains one of the biggest challenges in London, and I am pleased to acknowledge the hard work we have done in delivering genuinely affordable housing for our residents. However, more needs to be done and we must continue our hard work.
“While the Government has become too preoccupied with keeping its Prime Minister in power amid the ever-growing list of scandals, it has forgotten that the housing crisis exists and this motion aims to press them into much-needed action.”
Motion as agreed by Tower Hamlets Council
Administration Motion regarding Housing Delivery
Proposed by: Cllr Danny Hassell
Seconded by: Mayor John Biggs
This Council notes that:
- The housing crisis is the greatest challenge facing London today. Having an affordable, secure home is difficult for many people due to rising private rents and a lack of genuinely affordable homes.
- That the population in the Tower Hamlets borough is one of the fastest growing in London.
- As of 6th December 2021, Tower Hamlets Council has delivered the following:
- 827 new homes. – completed and occupied. These are a combination of new build and purchases.
- 224 new build homes are on site and under construction.
- 184 new build homes awaiting contractor appointment, finances approved and planning secured.
- Additionally, we are working on the next phase of new council homes, including:
- 42 homes with planning permission secured and funding being finalised.
- 451 mainly new build homes have been allocated funding and are moving towards planning permission
- 318 further homes are in the pipeline or in appraisal.
- In total this would total 2,046 additional council homes
- The successful securing of £32m in grant funding from the Mayor of London’s Affordable Housing Programme to fund an additional 194 new homes for social rent in the borough.
- The introduction of a local lettings plan where 25% of completed homes can be let to households on the Common Housing Register who already live on the estates where the new homes are built: for example; Jubilee Street.
- The development and launch of the Intermediate Housing Register of Interest (launched 1st October 2021), which will give initial priority and access to local residents for all new intermediate housing in the borough.
- The approval of the ‘Affordable Self-Build’ Programme with the first 2 of 4 sites having been awarded to the community self-build groups.
- Since 2015/16 to December 2021, registered providers have delivered over 5,900 new affordable homes in the borough.
- The housing revenue account is used to fund new homes, but also manage current housing and deliver improvements to existing council homes.
This Council believes that:
- That Tower Hamlets is on the frontline in the battle to tackle the capital’s housing crisis, and is working with the Mayor of London to do our bit to help solve it.
- We should continue to work with registered providers to deliver good quality and affordable homes for residents.
- Whilst there have been some changes to the use of ‘Right to Buy’ (RTB) receipts, councils should be permitted to allocate 100% of receipts to deliver new council housing and also combine RTB receipts to other grant funding for schemes.
- The government should provide sufficient funding to councils and other housing associations to meet targets on carbon neutral homes and to address fire and building safety, helping reduce the pressures on funding available for building new homes.
- We need genuinely affordable homes developed with the right infrastructure.
This Council resolves:
- To share this motion with the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Communities and Housing to share the good work that the Council is doing to provide housing in the borough and to call for the Government to work with all Local Authorities to help resolve the housing crisis once and for all.
- To lobby for changes to use of right to buy receipts and for funding to support councils and housing associations to deliver new homes and improve the quality of their existing stock.
- To continue to work with the Mayor of London and the Deputy Mayor for Housing to ensure more genuinely affordable housing is built for those in need.
- To support the Mayor and Cabinet in ongoing work to deliver more genuinely affordable homes and the vital infrastructure that must go alongside housing.