Barking and Dagenham council claims the scheme is nation’s first fully privately-funded social housing project

Barking and Dagenham council has unveiled a £76m deal that will see a private-sector partnership build some 477 affordable-rent homes in the borough that will ultimately revert back to local authority control.

The deal links the council with Laing O’Rourke, its investment arm Explore Investment, and institutional asset developer Long Harbour.

The homes will be split over two council-owned sites  – Barking town centre’s William Street Quarter and the eastern end of the Thames View near Barking Riverside.

They will be built by Laing O’Rourke and Jerram Falkus and be rented out at 50%-80% of local market rates.

Barking and Dagenham said the scheme would be entirely self-financing from the rents paid over the term of the lease and that the properties would automatically transfer into full council ownership at the end of the period.

A council spokesman said the leases involved on the properties would run for “around 60 years”.

Councillor Phil Waker, Barking and Dagenham’s cabinet member for housing, said the scheme was the realisation of an election-manifesto commitment to deliver new homes for the borough.

“I want to pay tribute not only to our own council officers for working so hard on this deal, but also to our partners - Laing O’Rourke and Long Harbour, both of whom have shown real commitment to Barking and Dagenham and an innovative approach that has helped deliver what is the first totally privately funded affordable social housing scheme anywhere in the UK,” he said.

All 477 homes are expected to be complete in three years time, with the first scheduled to be available for occupation in 18 months.