Ealing Council’s cabinet has approved plans to help tackle the borough’s affordable housing crisis by building hundreds more homes to let.
In total, the sites discussed and approved for development this week will include more than 300 new homes. Of these, 181 will be council homes to let. This will include 71 homes specifically designed for older people on the Steyne Road estate in Acton; a five-storey block of 84 homes at the site of the former Northolt Grange community centre; and a four-storey block of 26 flats in Sussex Crescent, Northolt.
Eight other new homes at Northolt Grange and 117 further homes at Steyne Road will be available as shared ownership – to help people get on the housing ladder – or will be sold. As well as the proceeds of these sales, the council homes are part-funded by a proportion of a £99million grant from the Greater London Authority.
Priority access for Ealing residents
Work is expected to get under way at all three sites in March and is likely to be completed between late 2024 and early 2026.
The new homes will help alleviate a surging crisis in affordable housing in the borough. All will be let at rents priced to suit the budgets of local people on low to moderate incomes.
A big rise in families who need help
The council has experienced a big rise in the number of families who are at risk of becoming homeless and have nowhere else to turn.
More and more households find themselves unable to access the private rental market after the big jump in inflation and government decisions around rent levels and the restoration of Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions that had been paused during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Average private rents have gone up 10% in the last six months alone, and our borough has almost double the rate of households threatened with homelessness compared to the London average.
Ealing leads the way
The council is supporting those households through homelessness prevention services, advice about benefits and with help to pay their bills. But it is also addressing one of the root causes of the problem – a lack of affordable homes in the borough.
Ealing Council is leading London in terms of council homebuilding. In data published by the Greater London Authority, Ealing is consistently among the top performing boroughs in London for new, genuinely affordable homes. With more than 11,000 families waiting for a council home in Ealing, these new homes in Acton and Northolt will help reduce the gap between supply and demand.
‘Safe, energy-efficient homes‘
Councillor Peter Mason is the leader of the council. He said: “London’s affordable housing crisis has left many hardworking people without a place to call their own. That’s why we’re running one of London’s biggest council homebuilding programmes, and I am pleased that these three sites will be progressing over the next few years.
“We know what a huge difference these safe, secure, affordable and energy-efficient flats and houses will make to the families who move into them. From Northolt to Acton, and everywhere in between, we’re delivering award-winning new homes that will help us close the gap between supply and demand.”
Councillor Shital Manro is the council’s lead member for good growth: He said: “We are determined to deliver the new affordable homes that Ealing urgently needs.
“Brexit, the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the national financial turmoil caused by the government last autumn have created very difficult economic conditions. However, we are determined to continue to deliver for Ealing residents in spite of the challenging climate, and we are confident that we can continue building the homes that will stop local families being priced out of their communities.”
All cabinet decisions are subject to a call-in period.