New figures released by the Government showed that under Mayor John Biggs Tower Hamlets has secured over £20 million of New Homes Bonus (NHB) funding from the Government in its 2018/19 funding allocation.
The formula for allocating NHB funding was introduced by the Government with the aim of encouraging local authorities to grant planning permission for the building of new houses. As the figures also confirm that Tower Hamlets built the most affordable homes, and the most homes among local authorities overall last year it will now receive the largest allocation of funding in the whole country, and one of the largest awards of NHB the Borough has received.
The statistics show that 1,085 affordable units were built in Tower Hamlets last year putting the Borough at the top of the leader board. The Borough also came out top in terms of overall houses delivered with 3,347 delivered in the period October 2016 to October 2017.
The population of Tower Hamlets recently passed 300,000 and it’s predicted there will be a further 87,400 people living in the Borough over the next 25 years. Meanwhile there are around 19,000 people on the housing waiting list in the Borough.
In the last two years of the previous administration, only 595 (in 2013/14) and 635 (in 2014/15) affordable homes were built in Tower Hamlets. Since Mayor John Biggs came into office this figure has almost doubled with over 1,000 new affordable homes built in each of the past two years.
Under Mayor John Biggs the definition of affordable homes was changed, so rents were reduced to genuinely social rents in new Council developments from the previous administration’s unaffordable rents, saving families up to £6,000.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said:
‘I am delighted that our record of delivery in building homes for our residents has been recognised through this funding windfall for the Borough. This is a major win for Tower Hamlets residents and shows we are leading the way in tackling the housing crisis and delivering for residents on the housing waiting list.’
Cllr Sirajul Islam, Statutory Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing said:
‘We can be proud of our record in delivering genuinely affordable homes and ensuring Tower Hamlets gets the funding it deserves. We are not just the best performing council in London but the whole country.’
Cllr Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development said:
‘In Tower Hamlets we are doing all we can to solve London’s Housing Crisis: building new council homes; funding infrastructure and supporting residents living in the private rented sector. This funding is recognition of the hard work we put in to delivering new homes.’