Work has started on the first new council homes in Brighton and Hove for a generation.
Councillor Liz Wakefield, the Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member for housing, marked the start of work at a turf-turning ceremony.
The four-storey block of flats and a terrace of three four-bedroom houses will be built in Wellington Road, Brighton, near the bottom of Elm Grove.
The 12 flats include two wheelchair-accessible two-bedroom flats, five other two-bedroom flats and five one-bedroom flats.
The council said that the 19 bedsits and warden’s flat would have cost too much to refurbish.
Councillor Wakefield said: “Housing is a major issue in the city. We hope this development will kick-start our housebuilding programme because the demand for social homes in Brighton and Hove massively outstrips supply.
“Working with our contractors, we plan to deliver new top-quality homes including much-needed family homes that meet tough environmental standards.”
Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn, the opposition Conservative group housing spokesman, welcomed the start of work by Kier, the contractor.
He said that the scheme was the brainchild of the previous Conservative administration, with plans being submitted in late 2010.
Councillor Peltzer Dunn said: “I am delighted that work has now started on these much-needed new homes.
“Great credit should go to the previous cabinet member for housing, Maria Caulfield, for driving this programme through and also to the tenants who worked very closely with the council on designing this new scheme.
“It would be nice if the Green administration could give us some credit for enabling this to happen and I look forward with interest to seeing how they will implement the rest of our Estates Master Plan which identified council-owned sites that could deliver a further 800 new homes in the city.
“The demand for social housing in Brighton and Hove massively outstrips supply and so it is vital that the Greens take this work forward as a matter of urgency.”