1,000 new council homes in 10 years for Havering

Havering Cabinet approved plans to save a further �13.9million from its budget over the next three y

Havering Cabinet approved plans to save a further �13.9million from its budget over the next three years and expand five primary schools - Credit: Archant

Ambitious plans to build 1,000 new council homes within 10 years were passed by councillors last night.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for housing, Cllr Damian White (Squirrels Heath, Conservative), said “great demand” led the authority to act.

He highlighted that the homes would go to people who have lived in Havering for five years or members of the armed services “who wish to come and live here.”

The proposals would see the capital budget increased by £49million to £82million over the next three years through borrowing. All the money will come from the Housing Revenue Account – the pot used by the council for its housing stock. Over that three-year period 544 new homes will be built. The average cost of a new build is priced at £175,000 and will be reviewed periodically.

Speaking at Havering Town Hall, Cllr White said: “Gone are the days of the local authority providing all the housing needs in the borough. But there is a great demand for this.”

Since the local elections in 2014 the housing waiting list has risen from 2,500 to 3,000.

When Residents’ Association (RA) leader, Cllr Ray Morgon (Hacton), said he wanted to know more about where the properties would be built, Cllr White said a more detailed report would be presented at next month’s cabinet meeting.

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Independent Residents’ Group leader Cllr Jeff Tucker (Rainham and Wennington) predicted a lot of the new builds would be in the south of the borough. “I understand the need but there’s not enough schools or health services,” he said. “They should be in place before the housing is built.”

Leader, Cllr Roger Ramsey (Emerson Park, Con) replied, saying: “We can do nothing, or we can do something.”

Labour’s Keith Darvill (Heaton) said he was concerned with the lack of green spaces within new estates compared to current social housing.

The plans will now go before full council.

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