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Hundreds of council homes are to be built in Waltham Forest over the next three years in the biggest public housing project in a quarter of a century, it has been announced today.

A £16.7m project funded by a mixture of grants and loans will lead to the development of 435 homes across the borough, in order to tackle what has been described as a 'chronic' housing shortage.

Waltham Forest council secured a £9.7million grant from the Greater London Authority (GLA) and a £7million loan from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for the project.

A grant-funding pot of £404million was made available by the GLA for councils and housing associations to bid to build affordable homes.

The council was awarded the second highest amount of funding of any council in this round of bidding.

It is not yet decided where the properties will be built, but new rules on council land sales mean that more surplus and redundant land and property can be released for development.

The council will need to demonstrate maximum value for money by bringing forward high-value vacant stock and offering its own land for new affordable housing.

The homes are expected to be completed by 2018.

Cabinet member for housing, Khevyn Limbajee, described the shortage of housing in the borough as "chronic".

“To put it in perspective, the last time the council built new council houses was in 2011, and then it was just 22 new homes,” he added.

“For around a quarter of a century before that we simply did not invest in building new council houses at all."

Some of the new council homes will be on sites already earmarked for development, such as Marlowe Road, off Wood Street.

Other sites have been identified for regeneration and the council is in the process of identifying additional sites where homes can be built.