This is part of an extra £1.5billion in the Housing Pledge the Government made last year to build an additional 20,000 affordable homes.
The Government said that as well as getting councils building homes again, this investment was getting housebuilding work restarted on stalled sites during the recession, and helping Housing Associations build more affordable homes – creating 45,000 extra jobs and nearly 3000 new apprenticeships in the industry.
Housing minister John Healey said: "The first spade is in the ground today and marks the beginning of the biggest council house building programme for nearly two decades. Many more sites across the country will be up and running in the coming weeks, and in a matter of days I will give the green light to funding for further council house building.
"Today Tyneside shows how the power of Government investment is tackling the shortage of affordable housing and also creating new jobs and supporting the construction industry when it needs it most.
"Alongside the extra leeway I am giving councils to manage their waiting lists according to local pressures, the new building started today will help councils tackle the housing needs of their communities."
Pat Ritchie, regional director of the Homes and Communities Agency, said: "We are delighted that the three developments in South Tyneside can now move forward to deliver quality, affordable supported housing for the elderly.
"This significant investment will provide purpose-built bungalows to help meet the high demand for properties suitable for elderly residents, which in turn will increase the availability of family homes in the South Tyneside area – stimulating the local housing market and supporting the wider regeneration programme."
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