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Shadow Minister Healey tours Blackwall to learn answer to housing crisis

PUBLISHED: 14:21 08 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:21 08 March 2016

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey (centre) led on tour by Mayor John Biggs (left) around Robin Hood Gardens £300m Blackwall Reach redevelopment

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey (centre) led on tour by Mayor John Biggs (left) around Robin Hood Gardens £300m Blackwall Reach redevelopment

Kois Miah

Shadow Housing Minister John Healey has toured the £300 million Blackwall Reach regeneration project to see how London’s East End is tackling its chronic housing crisis.

The former Minister of State visited the 1970s Robin Hood Gardens estate where 1,500 new homes are being built over the next 10 years, replacing the decaying 1970s housing of 252 homes.

He was shown around by Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs to study the project under construction, the first phase having been completed last summer with 98 new flats and maisonettes, a community centre, housing office and new mosque.

The Mayor told him: “We have a long way to go and the council is looking at every chance to build more homes and create real neighbourhoods.”

Tower Hamlets has 21,000 families on its waiting list and is being hampered by government budget restrictions.

But things are beginning to shift, the Shadow Minister learned, with the first tenants having moved into Blackwall Reach in the first phase, while Woolmore Primary school was also rebuilt as part of the regeneration.

Mr Healey was also briefed by the mayor about the Whitechapel Town Centre regeneration for 3,500 more homes by 2025, which also includes a new shopping complex, public square and a civic centre.

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