Social housing

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Council builds almost half its target number of homes

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Ealing Council has built almost half of its target number of affordable homes.

The west London council set itself a target of building 2,500 genuinely affordable homes by 2022.

Housing boss councillor Peter Mason told cabinet members that 1,355 homes had been finished as part of the authority’s house building programme which began in April 2018.

The homes are classified as ‘genuinely affordable’ due to meeting London Affordable Rent, London Living Rent and Social Rent price limits.

Schemes such as shared ownership are not included unless housing costs take up less than a third of the household’s income.

The update comes as a report submitted to the council’s top team warned Covid-19 had hit its housing programme and delays were expected.

The report said almost all of Ealing’s building sites have shut down due to problems for developers and contractors, with staff being furloughed and building materials running short.

It said: “The council faces an immediate impact on its housing programme which will almost certainly result in homes taking longer to build with completion dates changing, reflecting the anticipated delays.

“Costs may increase if, as is likely, the industry struggles to source finance, labour, supply chains and materials. However, it is noted that Arcadis – a national construction consultancy – has commented that inflationary and deflationary pressures on construction costs may cancel each other out after the lockdown is lifted.”

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Council to suspend tenant evictions

Cambridge City Council says it will be suspending the eviction of council tenants, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The council said the move was in order to protect tenants who were sick, self-isolating or suffering from financial hardship as a result of the virus.

Councillor Richard Johnson, executive councillor for housing at the Labour-run authority, said: "The council remains committed to continuing its financial support services to our most vulnerable residents who are affected during this time.

“We are working hard to operate a service which is as near as possible to ‘business as usual’ for these customers."

Tenants in need of support were invited to call the council on 01223 457000 to discuss their concerns.

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