Newham Council to create 3,500 new private rented homes

27 February 2014 in Housing
Pioneering proposals which will allow Newham Council to create thousands of private rented homes for residents, have been approved.
The Mayor of Newham and members of the council’s cabinet gave the green light for a council-owned company to be established which will build at least 3,000 new homes in the borough over the next 13 years. The company will also acquire a further 500 existing properties. All the homes will be available for residents at market rent or below with a third of the homes set affordable rent with plans to increase this.

The groundbreaking plans will make Newham Council the first local authority to deliver a significant programme of private rented homes for residents. This will also be one of the largest building programmes anywhere in the country. The company will deliver market rent housing with the council providing additional funding so a third of properties will be available on a subsidised rent to families on low incomes. To finance the early stages of the programme of development, the council will provide loans to the company as a commercial investment.

As the scheme progresses, the council’s target is for half of the homes to be a subsidised rent at affordable rent or below. Subsidised rent at 80 per cent of market rates will save a family earning the average Newham salary with two children in a three bedroom property around £210 a month, compared to renting on the open market.

The company is complemented by the council’s groundbreaking private rented sector property licensing scheme. This has been in place for over a year now and has been a great success with 80 per cent of the private rented sector in Newham now licensed.

Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham said: “This is an exciting and ambitious programme which will provide a new offer in the private rented sector –stable, reliable and high quality homes for residents to rent from a trustworthy landlord. Once the scheme is established, I want to be more ambitious and ensure the council subsidises at least half of the homes at affordable rent or below so they are within the means of residents on low incomes. This would be a much bigger proportion of truly affordable homes than anywhere else in London.”

“Additionally, this scheme will provide the council with a new source of income to help support us as we deal with massive and ongoing cuts from government, so that we can continue to protect the services we know are important to residents. It will also make a significant local contribution to alleviate London’s housing crisis.”