More local families given keys to new homes created out of disused areas
More local families have been given the keys to their new homes with the official opening of the borough’s 200th Hidden Home.
The latest wave of nine new affordable homes has been unveiled on Battersea’s Doddington estate.
This brings the tally of affordable homes built under Wandsworth’s innovative Hidden Homes Scheme past the landmark figure of 200.
The council began building Hidden Homes in late 2002 as a quick, simple and highly cost-effective way of providing new affordable homes for people in housing need.
The scheme works by transforming vacant and disused areas on council estates, like storerooms, sheds, garages and boiler rooms into comfortable, bright, modern apartments.
Because the council already owns these spaces, there is no cost involved in acquiring the land. In addition, utilising vacant storage areas, garages and boiler rooms more effectively to provide low cost homes prevents them becoming havens for criminal activity or anti-social behaviour.
The new homes on the Doddington, which were created out of disused storage areas, consist of three family sized maisonettes and six apartments, including some that are suitable for people with mobility difficulties.
This boost to the local housing market has been achieved as the result of an innovative partnership between Wandsworth Council, Notting Hill Housing and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).
The homes have been designed and built by the council using funding provided by both Notting Hill and the HCA.
More Hidden Homes are also currently being constructed on the neighbouring Rollo estate, as part of a £7m affordable housing scheme.
These 38 new apartments are being created by extending existing blocks onto disused land at the back of the Rollo Estate. These are due to be completed in July 2012, in a scheme jointly funded by the council and the HCA.
The council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Paul Ellis, said: “Our Hidden Homes initiative
was the first of its kind in the UK and has proved enormously successful in providing cost effective and affordable housing to local families.
“It has delivered very attractive and high-quality accommodation for people who wish to rent and also to local first time buyers who could not afford to buy a home on the open market.
“As well as boosting the supply of affordable homes, the scheme has removed from our housing estates many areas that had previously been subject to crime and vandalism. In their place, there now stand attractive and spacious homes.
“Reaching the landmark number of 200 Hidden Homes is a stunning achievement and is a testament to our hugely successful and invaluable partnership with Notting Hill Housing. They saw the potential of this initiative very quickly and since then have worked tirelessly alongside us to deliver high quality cost-effective homes for people in housing need.”
Kate Davies, Chief Executive of Notting Hill Housing, added: “The Hidden Homes project has been a great success and housing 200 families has been a real achievement. Many of these homes are unique and spaciously designed, based in established communities.
“Slowly but surely we have converted dirty, dangerous, empty and unused spaces into affordable city dwellings, making communities safer, more desirable and sustainable.”
Notting Hill Housing is one of the country’s most successful and innovative housing groups. It has been delivering vibrant urban regeneration and new developments in London since 1963, owns and manages over 27,000 properties in the south east and has helped over 3,500 people get their foot on the property ladder.
In addition it runs award-winning employment programmes to get people in to work and works inspirationally with young people so they can fulfil their potential.
The Group includes Notting Hill Housing Trust, Notting Hill Home Ownership, Notting Hill Commercial Properties and Notting Hill Developments.
To find out more about the Hidden Homes scheme visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/hiddenhomes
December 19, 2011