It has been a busy year in Housing as we are in the process of delivering three projects which will total 117 new affordable homes for rent.

Ground has been broken at the site known as “Topps Club Development” in Argent Street to provide 29 new council homes in an excellent location close to amenities such as the River Front, Town Centre and Railway Station.

In addition, the sites in Calcutta Road, Tilbury, and Claudian Way, Chadwell, will look to provide 88 further units of mixed accommodation, with the site in Tilbury specifically designed for people approaching retirement.

The Prevention of Homelessness Act came into force in April, which places a legal duty on the council to give greater support in the prevention of homelessness and in securing longer term safe and suitable accommodation.

This is a very welcome act and although it has placed a considerable strain on the Housing Department it has been welcomed and we will do everything we can to ensure it helps the unfortunate residents who might find themselves in this situation.

I have requested officers to commission a “Garage Review” which has seen a task force assigned to the project of “Garage Management” which will enable us to establish an exact detail of our stock and aid the council in eliminating Anti-Social Behaviour and minimise losses through voids.

Let me conclude by wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2019.

-Barry Johnson, cabinet member for housing