The Mayor of Newham has challenged the government to take more radical steps to address the housing crisis.
Mayor Rokshana Fiaz announced her commitment to deliver the largest council-led housebuilding programme in London.
At a full Council meeting on Monday 29 October, Rokhsana Fiaz announced that a Housing Delivery Statement for Newham would be published next week ahead of the November Cabinet meeting.
This is due to set out how Newham Council intends to:
- build and buy thousands of new genuinely affordable homes
- challenge and support developers to increase levels of affordable housing
- increase community involvement in housing development.
The announcement came as the government released its Budget statement which set out plans to immediately remove the council house-building borrowing cap. While the Mayor of Newham welcomed these steps, she pushed for a more wholesale approach to address the chronic shortage of homes in the borough, including removing damaging government policies such as Right to Buy which are stripping the borough of much needed social housing.
The council has already accelerated plans to deliver thousands of new homes. Newham recently received the highest grant of any London borough - £107 million – from the Mayor of London through the Building Council Homes for Londoners programme to support its ambitious plans to start construction on 1,100 new homes that are genuinely affordable for residents. All of the homes will be started by the end of the Mayoral term in 2022.
Mayor Fiaz said: “I have always been clear that housing is one of my biggest priorities - Newham is on the front line of London’s housing crisis and our residents are suffering. There are 28,000 people on the housing waiting list, more than 4,800 households in temporary accommodation and housing costs are rising fast. Only a massive, council-led housebuilding programme can begin to address the scale of the challenge and that is what we will deliver.
“Next week we will be publishing our Housing Delivery Statement ahead of November cabinet. It will set out in more detail how we will deliver on my housing promises with a focus on affordability, community involvement and building communities by delivering decent, quality homes and pleasant mixed neighbourhoods.
“I am absolutely determined this council will be a leader in tackling the housing crisis in London. We will do this by building and buying thousands of new affordable homes. We will drive a harder bargain with developers and challenge those who do not put forward the right levels of affordable housing our residents need. We will also continue to be a campaigning council, to fight to change the laws on Right to Buy, to protect our valuable housing stock. My housing delivery statement will show that when it comes to house-building, we are putting people at the heart of everything we do.”