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Struggle to build new homes in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 17:03 28 May 2015

The new development at Barking Riverside

The new development at Barking Riverside

Archant

Barking and Dagenham is struggling to build enough homes, new statistics have revealed.

Housing charity London First, which is campaigning for a capital-wide increase in the number of homes built each year, has released figures showing that only 18 out of 33 local authorities met their annual targets between 2010 and 2013.

During the three year period, Barking and Dagenham built 1,392 homes – just 43.6 per cent of its 3,195 
target and putting the borough in the top ten worst performing.

The figures show that east London authorities particularly struggled to reach the targets, with Havering, Redbridge, Newham and Tower Hamlets also performing badly.

London First believes that a new financial incentive would encourage boroughs to build new homes, with the charity’s chief executive, Baroness Jo Valentine, saying it would “help close the yawning gap between political rhetoric about getting homes built and the reality of how many are actually completed”.

But a spokesman for Barking and Dagenham Council said that they “do not recognise that figure”.

He said: “The vast majority of new homes in the borough will be built by the private sector and housing associations.

“The council’s only real control in relation to new housing development and the private sector and housing association is via the planning process.”

He added that work on 911 homes on the Freshwarf site is set to begin next year, while only 685 of a planned 10,800 homes on Barking Riverside have been completed so far.

Government figures released on Friday showed that between April last year and March this year, Barking and Dagenham was still struggling to reach the target.

Eight hundred homes were built during that period, 778 shy of the target of 1,578. That number did, however, include 600 social homes.

Mairead Carroll, external affairs manager for London at the National Housing Federation, said: “Families and young people are crying out for genuinely affordable homes.”


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