Ealing Council has announced plans for 2,500 more genuinely affordable new homes in the borough in response to London’s housing crisis.
The decision made by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, 16 October means the council and its partners will start work immediately on the homes. They will qualify as ‘genuinely affordable’ by being available as social rent, London Living Rent or London Affordable Rent tenures.
The council is ramping up its own home building plans and considering ways to increase the percentage of genuinely affordable homes in each of its developments, while also working with private developers and housing associations to ensure their projects include as many more affordable options as possible.
A new piece of work to start delivering against this ambitious target was also approved. Construction work at Westgate House in Hanger Lane will get under way soon, producing genuinely affordable homes.
In a further development, the cabinet has committed to balloting residents on estates earmarked for regeneration, ensuring that tenants and leaseholder play a key role in deciding the future of their neighbourhoods.
Leading the way in building new homes
Councillor Peter Mason is Ealing Council’s cabinet member for housing, planning and transformation. He said: “London is increasingly unaffordable and unequal, and the housing crisis is often the symptom of that inequality which hits people hardest. Many residents face a real struggle to afford to live in the areas they have grown up in. That’s why we have committed to creating 2,500 genuinely affordable homes that are modern, high quality homes and well within means of average incomes in our borough.
“At the moment, demand for genuinely affordable homes in the borough far outstrips supply. There are currently almost 8,000 households on our housing register, but last year only around 500 council homes became available to rent to new tenants, while we also lose around 100 social rented homes each year through ‘right To buy’ sales. We simply do not have the resources to adequately house everyone who wants a council home.
“Local councils can lead the way in building new homes, creating great places to live for people from all walks of life who need a decent and genuinely affordable place to live. This is a huge, very ambitious task in which we will use our own land for housing and develop new ways to fund construction. By acting independently, we will be free to provide more homes that everyone can afford. We will also work closely with other developers and housing associations to create the high quality, safe and genuinely affordable homes needed to build vibrant communities.”
£5billion worth of developments under way in Ealing
Council leader Julian Bell is the council’s lead member for regeneration. He said: “To achieve our ambitious plans for 2,500 more genuinely affordable homes we will need to work closely with our partners in the private sector. Ealing has a very positive reputation for delivering regeneration projects, which is because of our pro-active approach and clear vision for improving the borough. As a result, there is currently more than £5billion worth of developments under way in Ealing, including £1.5billion on housing projects that Ealing Council is directly involved in.”
All cabinet decisions are subject to call-in within five working days of publication of the minutes.