£165 million boost for council housing

Robin Hood Gardens: Stephen Richards

Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman announced this week that £165 million will be targeted on improving housing standards in the borough.

The additional funding has been drawn from: “A combination of central government funding and Tower Hamlets resources.”

The money will go to  provide 8663 council homes with a new kitchen and bathroom, and to other improvements such as electrical and heating works. The work should be finished by 2015.

The investment is necessary because 55 per cent of homes in Tower Hamlets do not reach the Decent Homes Standard. In order to reach the standard homes must have kitchens less than 20 years old and bathrooms less than 40 years old.

According to homeless charity Shelter, the number of  Tower Hamlets council homes which are below the standard is far higher than the average.   Country-wide the borough average for homes that don’t reach the standard is 30 %.  In Tower Hamlets it is 25% higher than that.

Local resident George Shreive, 31, said: “I think that it’s great news for the area, this sort of funding has been a long time coming”.

The Decent Homes programme was started under the Labour government in 2005 in a bid to improve the standard of living for millions of people.

By Robert Greer

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