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Boleyn Ground to house first properties from Newham Council's new affordable housing company

21 March 2017 in Housing and Mayor
The site of the historic Boleyn Ground, West Ham Football Club’s former base will become home to the first properties delivered by a new affordable housing company set up by Newham Council. The company will be the first of its kind, delivering thousands of genuinely affordable homes for residents.
Stephen Thompson, Sir Robin Wales, James Murray and Cllr Ken Clark launch Newham Council’s affordable housing company at the Bol
​Stephen Thompson, Sir Robin Wales, James Murray and Cllr Ken Clark launch Newham Council’s affordable housing company at the Boleyn Ground development site.
​The council has purchased 211 properties from the multi-million pound Upton Gardens development, being built by Barratt London in Upton Park. The homes will form part of an independent company set up by the council to enable it to deliver a mixture of affordable homes for residents and is part of the council’s comprehensive strategy to address the borough’s housing crisis. Nearly half of Newham residents live in privately rented accommodation and fast rising rents and high house prices have made ownership unrealistic for many. Once complete and where possible, the homes will be offered to Newham residents on a range of different affordable rents.

The company will develop further by purchasing properties from schemes and developments in the borough. It will also determine a rent policy that is both fair and affordable for residents on average and low incomes.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham along with James Murray, Deputy Mayor of London for Housing and Residential Development visited the site to officially launch the ground-breaking initiative along with Stephen Thompson, Operations Director for Barratt London.

The council has worked in partnership with City Hall to ensure the company supports Sadiq Khan’s London Living Rent initiative. The Mayor of London is working with housing associations and councils to build new homes for London Living Rent, which are rents based on a third of average household incomes and encourages Londoners to save for a deposit as a route into shared ownership. 

Properties through the council’s company will be available at a blend of different submarket rents including rental bands at 80, 60 and 40 per cent of market rent where possible. As the offer develops and the council is able to increase its subsidy, more homes will be provided in the lower bands. Funding for the affordable homes will derive partly from the council’s prudential borrowing powers and also through council subsidy. All loans to the vehicle will be repaid in full to the council over a set period.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This company will deliver a new, fairer housing alternative giving people on low and moderate incomes genuine security. By paying less rent, residents will have the chance to save for a house deposit, giving them an opportunity to get on the housing ladder. This scheme supports the Mayor of London’s London Living Rent initiative which aims to help residents on low and middle incomes who are struggling in the private rented sector.

“The Boleyn Ground is an iconic site and I want to ensure Newham residents have the opportunity to live there. By purchasing the affordable housing element, rents can be set which are truly affordable. A fair system is one in which there is a link between what people earn and what they are asked to pay in housing costs. By establishing that link, we can make sure people are not forced out of Newham because of the housing crisis.”

James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, said: “I welcome Newham’s innovative plans that will contribute to building more affordable homes and meeting the housing challenges our city faces. Sadiq is committed to delivering new and genuinely affordable homes for Londoners, and is determined to see existing social housing improved.

“The Mayor secured a record-breaking deal from government to support 90,000 new affordable homes across the capital, including homes for London Living Rent. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to tackling the housing crisis in London and that is why the Mayor is working with proactive councils like Newham and housing associations operating in the capital, to build more new and genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.”

Stephen Thompson, Operations Director at Barratt London said: “We are committed to delivering a new, high quality residential neighbourhood providing the new homes which the London Borough of Newham so desperately needs.”