Ealing Council’s cabinet has approved a 50-year, multi-million-pound investment in more much-needed affordable homes for the borough.
The council has given the go ahead to a £390million business plan for BLRP, a subsidiary of its wholly owned housing development company, Broadway Living. Along with the £99million grant that the council secured from the Greater London Authority in 2018, the investment will be used to build at least 1,300 affordable homes within the next six years.
In total, the plan will see BLRP build 1,513 homes, with the sale and let of some of the homes subsidising the development of more homes for affordable let.
The scheme is projected to pay for itself over the course of half a century. It will do that by recouping the initial investment through sales and rents. It is not expected to put any pressure on the council’s day-to-day budget.
2,500 new genuinely affordable homes
Ealing is already running one of the biggest council homebuilding schemes in the country. Delivering the business plan will help the council meet its ambitious target of delivering 2,500 new genuinely affordable homes in the borough by April 2022. All of those homes will be let at rents priced to suit the budgets of local people on low to moderate incomes. The remainder of the 2,500 homes target will be met through the council’s planning system at private and housing association developments in the borough.
However, those new homes will not be enough to meet the spiralling demand for affordable housing in Ealing. There are currently more than 10,000 households on the council’s housing register, but last year only around 500 council homes became available to rent to new tenants, while the borough also loses around 100 socially rented homes each year through right to buy sales.
This business plan will help the council meet the urgent need for more affordable housing by investing in homebuilding long into the future. As well as the more than 1,500 homes that are initially planned, Broadway Living has access to land which could support thousands more in the longer term.
‘High-quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes for Ealing for decades to come’
Councillor Mik Sabiers, Ealing Council’s portfolio holder-designate for housing, planning and transformation said: “One of this administration’s key pledges is to deliver more of the good quality, genuinely affordable homes the borough so desperately needs.
“Although we have made extraordinary progress in the last few years, with almost 1,500 new genuinely affordable homes delivered since April 2018, we know this is just the start.
“Thousands of residents are struggling to afford to live in the neighbourhoods that they grew up in, so it is essential that we continue building new homes in the long term.
“This 50-year plan, which will ultimately pay for itself, will create a supply of sustainable, energy-efficient, affordable homes for Ealing for decades to come.
“One serious concern which has been drawn into sharp focus by the coronavirus pandemic is the impact that poor housing has on health. These new homes will make a real difference to the quality of life of the people who live in them.
“Through Broadway Living, the council is shareholder, landowner and funder for houses built under this plan.
“This means that public money stays public rather than ending up as profits for private companies. And by creating hundreds of jobs, the plan will provide a real boost for the local economy.
“It is a hugely positive step towards creating a better borough for everyone.”
Like all decisions by the council’s cabinet, this project is subject to final approval call in.