Sunday, December 09, 2018

Newham Council to invest £120m in improving existing council homes

"Newham Council’s housing stock will be improved as part of a £120m investment programme, to drive up standards for residents and ensure our council homes are safe and well maintained.

The commitment was set out as part of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) business plan approved at Cabinet (4 December). The business plan was recently reviewed to align with commitments made by the Mayor of Newham in her Housing Delivery Statement and her pledge to ensure all council homes are fit for habitation.

The capital investment will be made over the next five years and will include a rolling stock survey to identify what major works are required. Major works include replacing windows, reroofing and improving building structure. Boilers, bathrooms and kitchens that are out of date will also be upgraded as well as wider work such as decoration, pathways and lighting in and around estates to improve liveability and offer an inviting, safe and secure environment.

The Mayor of Newham last month announced her Housing Delivery Statement, the first part of a wider strategy detailing how the council will transform housing. Over the next four years, she will build at least 1,000 new council homes with 100 started in her first year. As set out in the business plan, the HRA will deliver up 409 social homes as part of this target.

Further to this, 456 homes will be acquired by 2023 to be available at social rents through the use of existing council reserves and receipts from council homes purchased by tenants using the Right to Buy.

To further supplement this work, the council will also put in a bid to the Mayor of London’s Homebuilding Capacity Fund, for up to £750,000 revenue funding. This funding can be used for councils to develop the skills, capacity and expertise to deliver new approaches to increasing housing supply.

Councillor John Gray, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “We are committed to ensuring all our council homes are safe and well maintained and so I am happy we can announce this £120m investment. We intend to survey every home over the next five years to check what improvements can be made, to enhance the lives of our tenants.

“Our primary focus must be on building desperately needed new homes for our homeless residents but we must not forget our existing housing stock. Every council tenant should be living in a warm, well maintained home and with this funding, we will take whatever action is necessary to make this possible.”

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