Newham Council has agreed to a plan that could see hundreds of affordable homes built on the rooftops of existing council-owned blocks.
More than 200 London Affordable Rent homes are set to be built on the rooftops of council-owned blocks in Newham (picture: Getty)
Populo Living, Newham’s wholly owned housing company, has been working with the council to develop an in-house modular construction programme to boost the supply of affordable homes in the borough.
Newham’s cabinet has now given Populo the green light to proceed with phase one of the programme, using roughly 10 council blocks with the potential to deliver more than 200 London Affordable Rent homes.
London Affordable Rent is a tenure designed by the mayor of London and is generally slightly more expensive than social rent.
An initial assessment of the council’s existing stock suggests that at least 500 homes can be delivered using this method.
Existing tenants in the selected blocks would be the first to be offered the new London Affordable Rent homes, freeing up council homes for those on Newham’s housing waiting list.
The new homes will be built to zero-carbon standards and will also be cheaper to run for residents.
Upgrades to the existing blocks would be carried out as part of the programme in order to significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
Analysis by Populo suggests that this approach could reduce the cost of building social housing by up to 25%.
Newham Council plans to invest £1.4bn in Populo’s housing projects over the next 15 years, with a target that 50% of the homes delivered by Populo will be set at social rent levels.
Rokhsana Fiaz, mayor of Newham, said: “This exciting project will help deliver new affordable homes whilst reducing our carbon footprint and costs for the council.
“I am committed to delivering more than 1,000 new social rent homes by March 2022. I’m proud that the council is embracing innovative technologies to deliver high-quality, new, affordable homes quickly.
“This project has huge potential to deliver thousands of homes across the borough over the next few years.”
Shaban Mohammed, cabinet member for housing services at Newham Council, said: “As lead member for housing services l am very excited by the airspace projects taking place in the borough that will not only add much-needed housing stock but also make homes more energy efficient and greener. This will be the next stage in council home evolution.”