Brent Council has agreed to an £85 million deal with Regal London for 294 affordable homes in Wembley. How will this help to increase affordable housing in London?
In Brent, there are currently more than 26,000 householders on the waiting list for council homes, therefore the need for affordable housing is crucial.
The council has agreed to buy the homes, ranging from one to three-bedroom units, from the developer on the site, which is due for completion in 2026.
Located in East Wembley, Fulton Road will comprise 737 homes, with 294 homes being offered as affordable.
The mixed new-use scheme will include shops, cafes, and creative workspaces, as well as public spaces for residents and locals to enjoy.
Regal London is also making improvements to the local Wealdstone Brook, which runs past the development, to create a waterslide and wildlife corridor.
London councils’ housing waiting lists have increased in recent years
Housing Industry Leaders spoke to Cllr Promise Knight, Cllr for Stonebridge Ward and Lead Member for Housing, Homelessness, and Renters’ Security at Brent Council about the partnership.
Focusing on delivering affordable housing is a key priority for Brent Council, and the Cllr explained that it is always looking for new ways to deliver affordable housing: “In June 2020, Cabinet agreed for negotiations to take place regarding the purchase of the affordable homes at Fulton Road.
“We saw the potential of much-needed, affordable homes for residents, particularly those on our housing waiting list in the heart of Wembley.”
According to the latest update of the ‘Live tables on rents, lettings and tenancies’ data by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, London council waiting lists have increased by almost 50,000 between 2020 and 2022.
Continuing, the Cllr said that the mass of people on Brent Council’s waiting list is a major issue, but as reflected in the latest update on London councils, it is not the only area in London with this issue.
She said: “We have a lot of people on our waiting list, and we’re not the only one in London to have this. This is a trend in councils across the country.”
We are in the midst of a housing crisis so it is essential for us that we have affordable homes that we can deliver.
The council is aiming to have as many homes as possible by 2030 energy-efficient
Brent Council is aiming to build or facilitate the building of 5,000 new affordable homes by 2024, including 1,000 new council homes.
On this, Cllr Promise Knight revealed that: “We are certainly on target to meet our goals and the partnership with Regal London is one of the ways in which we are maintaining the housing demand.”
Highlighting the importance of delivering affordable housing and maintaining the housing demand, the Cllr expressed that she understands that everyone needs the space that they require: “I know what it is like to share a two-bedroom social home with six relatives, and I know what it means to study without a dedicated workspace.”
Therefore, my priority as a Member for Housing is to ensure that there are housing options suitable for everyone.
It isn’t just affordability that Brent Council is focusing on but sustainability too. In the council’s draft ‘Climate Emergency Strategy 2021-2030‘, it is outlined that the council is aiming to have as many homes and buildings in the borough as possible to be energy-efficient and powered by renewable sources by 2030.
Cllr Promise Knight explained that any build that the council does, ensures that sustainability is at the heart of it: “We’re currently running a pilot to install devices in some of our homes in order to monitor levels of damp and mould in them.
“We are exhausting every single avenue to deliver suitable, affordable and sustainable homes for our residents.”
Partnerships like this one are essential in the journey to providing genuinely affordable homes for those who need them the most.