Two weeks ago, I was giving out awards to Ealing Council’s outstanding residents at our annual awards ceremony for tenants. My first as the cabinet member for housing.
A great evening spent with people who are the backbone of many of our estates and communities across the Borough. Neighbours, working together to make their places better.
In my intro, I talked about my own family’s experience of falling on hard times, spending time in temporary accommodation, and growing up on a suburban council estate that was not too dissimilar to parts of Northolt and Greenford.
I talked about how the Council needed to be much more than just any other landlord, and the duty we have in not shying away from the difficult topics, and acknowledging the challenges people living in our estates face.
So I really am beyond chuffed that today we’ve been awarded £99m to deliver London’s largest programme of building new council homes.
You don’t have to grow up in a social home on a council estate to know just how important they are, but by god it makes days like today that bit more satisfying.
“Ealing Council’s plans to deliver more genuinely affordable housing for local people are officially the most ambitious in London, new figures show.
The council’s target of building 1,138 genuinely affordable new homes by March 2022 is the highest in London, placing it at the forefront in the fight against London’s housing crisis. The homes will be available as social rent, London Living Rent or London Affordable Rent tenures or as other affordable options.
Reflecting the ambition and scope of the target, the Mayor of London has announced that Ealing has been awarded a grant of nearly £100million towards its construction programme. That represents almost a tenth of the total £1billion pot that will be shared between 26 London boroughs.
The 1,138 properties which the council will directly build will account for a sizeable part of its overall aim of creating 2,500 new genuinely affordable homes in the next four years. The remainder will be delivered by other private developments in the borough.
Councillor Peter Mason is Ealing Council’s lead member for housing, planning and transformation. He said: “Our council home building programme is now the biggest in London, and reflects the growing demand for safe, secure and genuinely affordable homes among our residents. Our hugely ambitious plans to build homes are only limited by the land we have available, the grant we get to make homes genuinely affordable, the capital we can borrow to fund the programme and the capacity we have.
“The Mayor’s £100million contribution is a huge boost and recognises that local authorities have a fundamental role to play in building the homes that Londoners desperately needs. By working with our housing association partners, and through clear leadership of the private sector, we are determined to ensure we deliver 2,500 more genuinely affordable homes. With 8,000 households waiting for a council home in Ealing, we know this is just the start of a huge challenge that we are determined to rise to.
Councillor Julian Bell is the leader of Ealing Council and lead member for regeneration. He said: “To achieve our ambitious plans for 2500 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 due to our proactive 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.”