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Tower Hamlets tops house-building table and gets £20m government cash for more social housing

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:30 10 January 2018

Tower Hamlets Homes chief executive Susmita Sen greets London Mayor Khan and local mayor Biggs arriving by coach for opening of Watts Grove housing complex. Picture: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Homes chief executive Susmita Sen greets London Mayor Khan and local mayor Biggs arriving by coach for opening of Watts Grove housing complex. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Low-cost social house-building has been boosted with Tower Hamlets Council landing a £20 million windfall from the government.

The two mayors help one-year-old Lamya Seif cut the cake at Watts Grove housing scheme launch. Picture: Mike Brooke The two mayors help one-year-old Lamya Seif cut the cake at Watts Grove housing scheme launch. Picture: Mike Brooke

The council gets the largest cash hand-out in the whole country from Whitehall’s 2018-19 funding formula set up to encourage local authorities to grant planning permission for new homes.

The 1,085 “affordable” homes built last year in the East End were more than those in any other local authority area in the country.

“Our house-building has been recognised by this windfall,” Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs said. “It that shows we are tackling the housing crisis and waiting list.”

Tower Hamlets is battling with a 19,000 waiting list and rocketing population passing 300,000. Yet it still came out top for overall house-building, completing 3,347 new properties in the 12 months to October.

Much of it has been developments like Watts Grove in Bow Common, unveiled by London Mayor Sadiq Khan in September, and rejuvenating Stepney’s massive Ocean Estate and Poplar’s Blackwall Reach scheme.

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