Sector - Housing

Shadow Minister visits Tower Hamlets to discuss housing challenge

Labour’s Shadow Housing and Planning Minister visits innovative Blackwall Reach regeneration project in Tower Hamlets.

Yesterday, Labour’s Shadow Housing and Planning Minister, John Healey MP met Mayor John Biggs, senior officers, and councillors, as part of a visit to see how Tower Hamlets Council is rising to the challenge of the housing crisis.

Over the next ten years, a £300M scheme at the old Robin Hood Gardens estate will deliver more than 1,500 new homes, replacing the existing 252 homes. The development will also include new community facilities, commercial units and improved green open spaces.

The Blackwall Reach scheme is being delivered in partnership with Swan Housing Group and the Greater London Authority.

John Healey said: ““I welcomed the opportunity to hear about how Tower Hamlets Council are dealing with the housing challenges their residents face. Locally-led regeneration schemes like Blackwall Reach can revitalise local areas and create new affordable homes. Tower Hamlets is showing what councils can do with limited space but high aspirations.”

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs added: “We have a growing population and providing homes and essential services is a real challenge. The Blackwall Reach scheme has shown what can be achieved with good partnership working and engaging fully with residents from the start.”

“We have a long way to go and the council is seeking every opportunity to maximise on building more genuinely affordable homes and creating real neighbourhoods.”

The MP was also briefed on the reshaping of Whitechapel Town Centre, another ambitious scheme in the heart of the borough which aims to deliver 3,500 new homes by 2025. The scheme includes a substantial number of family and affordable homes, major improvements to public spaces, roads, and new shopping and leisure opportunities.

The council has also secured £7M from its Right to Buy receipts and will work with housing associations to deliver around 70 homes at social rents, as part of Mayor Bigg’s pledge to deliver 1000 new council homes.

Cllr Sirajul Islam, statutory deputy mayor and cabinet member for Housing added: “We are working hard to build more genuinely affordable homes in the borough and to also improve existing council homes to improve residents’ quality life.”