Low-rent homes with secured tenancies promised by Tower Hamlets council

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs - Credit: Archant

More “social rent” homes for those on the long housing waiting list in London’s deprived East End are being built in the next two years with profits made from the local authority selling off properties under the government’s ‘Right to Buy’ scheme.

Tower Hamlets Council

Tower Hamlets Council - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets Council, with 21,000 households on its waiting list, has put aside £7 million from the profits to build 70 homes with secure tenancies by the end of 2017.

“This allows us to re-invest the money from the sales and avoid having to pay it back to the government with interest on top,” Mayor John Biggs said. “We are doing all we can to support much-needed homes.”

The mayor is concerned that properties coming onto the market are not within reach of most working people in the East End to rent or buy—which is not helping reduce the waiting list.

Secured tenancies are being welcomed as a reversal of the years of insecurity families have faced following the hand-over of council housing estates a decade ago to profit-making organisations.

The new rented homes are only being made available to those on the waiting list, while only housing associations with genuine experience in providing low-cost housing are eligible to apply for funding. The council has so far received interest from 12 housing associations.