Work has begun on 20 affordable homes in Redbridge.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and cabinet member for housing Cllr Farah Hussain put the first spades in the ground in Wanstead this morning.

Affordable housing developer Pocket Living has teamed up with Redbridge Council to deliver its latest scheme in Gardner Close.

The disused garage site will make way for a two-storey building of 20 one-bedroom homes for sale with a 20 per cent discount from full market value.

Buy-to-let investors are ineligible to buying any of the properties on site.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed Pocket Living’s schemes and has already given the company a £25 million loan to deliver sites like Gardner Close across London.

The Mayor’s backing will see Pocket Living start on 1,059 affordable homes by March 2021.

Sadiq Khan said: “Tackling London’s housing crisis requires bold new approaches. I invested in Pocket Living to help them build genuinely affordable homes that are sold to local people first.”

Cllr Athwal said: “First-time buyers in Redbridge and across London face a huge challenge when trying to find a home. We are in the midst of a housing crisis and schemes like this are an important tool in providing genuinely affordable homes.

“This is just one step in delivering on our pledge to build 1000 affordable homes by 2022 – 600 of which will be council homes.”

Cllr Hussain added: “I am absolutely delighted to join Cllr Athwal and Pocket Living to break ground on 20 more affordable homes for first time buyers.

“Pocket homes are affordable in perpetuity and a great way to ensure that future generations of first time buyers can live in the area where they grew up.”

Marc Vlessing, Pocket Living’s chief executive, said: “The Mayor of London invested in Pocket Living to help us build high quality affordable homes for local people on middle incomes. Our homes remain affordable to local people forever.

“We’re extremely excited to be delivering our first homes in Redbridge. We want to help local people to get a foot on the housing ladder as there is huge demand in the area for Pocket. More than 150 local people have already registered for a Pocket home.”