O’Rourke backs first privately funded council homes

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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London’s Barking and Dagenham Council has signed off an innovative deal to privately fund 477 new council homes at two sites in the town centre.

Working alongside Laing O’Rourke, its investment arm Explore Investment, and institutional asset developer Long Harbour, the council has secured £76m of private funding for two big council housing projects.

The homes will be built by Laing O’Rourke and Jerram Falkus under a deal that is entirely self-financing from the rents paid over the term of the lease.

At the end of the lease period, all the properties in the William Street Quarter site and the Eastern End of the Thames View will automatically transfer into full council ownership.

Cllr. Phil Waker, cabinet member for Housing at Barking and Dagenham Council said: “This is a tremendously exciting and innovative scheme, which will deliver much needed new homes for the people of this borough.

“The Council Cabinet made a manifesto commitment at the last local election to deliver real and lasting investment in housing, despite the chill economic winds that have buffeted our area – and this announcement is another highly visible example of our determination to deliver on that promise.

“Not only will we see almost 500 new affordable homes built in prime sites which local people can and will be able to afford to rent, we are one of the very few local authorities that is currently building council housing under our own investment programme. We believe we have a strong record to be proud of.

“I want to pay tribute not only to our own council officers for working so hard on this deal, but also to our partners – Laing O’Rourke and Long Harbour, both of whom have shown real commitment to Barking and Dagenham and an innovative approach that has helped deliver what is the first totally privately funded affordable social housing scheme anywhere in the UK.”

The first dwellings will be available for take-up in about 18 months time, with the entire scheme expected to be completed within three years.

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