£83million set aside to build new homes in Havering
PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 November 2015
Havering Council has approved releasing more than £83million to provide affordable housing in the borough.
Plans to build 526 council houses in the next three years were agreed in September, alongside a long-term plan to deliver 1,000 homes over the next decade, with funding approved at Wednesday’s meeting of full council.
But the authority’s own Housing Needs and Demand Assessment concluded that 1,288 affordable homes would be needed each year for the next five years to meet demand.
Cllr Damian White, deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, said: “Havering has a very good track record of providing or supporting affordable properties in the borough.
“A number of large scale developments have been brought forward by the private sector and housing associations, which have delivered hundreds of affordable units.
“This 1,000 target is over the next 10 years, but the idea is we lay out where the sites are and as funding becomes available we can bring forward the construction.”
A report about the assessment, presented at Wednesday’s meeting, reads: “The council accepts this is an unrealistic theoretical requirement, but also recognises that, with increasing demand, we have to set ourselves an ambitious target for affordable houses development.”
Cllr White said the authority’s recently established housing company and the 3,500 home Beam Park development will see more affordable properties built.
He added: “There’s a huge amount going on within the council to support the construction and delivery of affordable housing.
“Approval has also been given for the council to buy back properties previously sold through the Right to Buy scheme.”
Sites being considered for the 1,000 plan home are inside the borough, but Cllr White said “all options” including building outside Havering would be considered in the future to get the best value for money.
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