On Wednesday, Mayor John Biggs was joined by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to unveil 148 brand new council homes at Watts Grove in Tower Hamlets.
Ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman and former cabinet member for housing Cllr Rabina Khan decided to scrap the Watts Grove scheme in 2013 but after a strong local campaign led by Labour councillors and John Biggs, the scheme was reinstated.
Watts Grove is covered by new rent levels, introduced by Mayor Biggs. New rented affordable housing is split between Tower Hamlets Living Rents and London Affordable Rent. The change means, compared to the previous Mayor's rent levels, a family living in a new three bed property will be up to £5,791 better off as a result of Mayor Biggs' changes.
Mayor Biggs, Mayor Khan and local councillors met the residents who will benefit from the new housing delivered by the Labour-run Council.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
"Many existing families are being squeezed out of the borough because of the high cost of housing and we need to challenge that. As part of our response, we have delivered 148 new much-needed council homes at Watts Grove.
"After our campaign to save Watts Grove succeeded in 2013, the previous mayor decided that it should be a private finance scheme, with cripplingly high rents. When I was elected, I set new rent standards and we were able to significantly reduce the rents so that they are affordable for families on lower incomes.
"I pledged to build 1,000 council homes for local families and we're right on track to deliver that."
Deputy Mayor for Housing, Cllr Sirajul Islam said:
"The Council’s project team has worked very hard with Tower Hamlets Homes to complete this project and it was great to see families settling in to their new homes. London is facing a housing crisis and boroughs like Tower Hamlets, with rapidly increasing populations, need to ensure affordable housing is a top priority. Tower Hamlets Council is doing just that and these 148 new homes will provide essential affordable housing for local people."