Relief for council tenants swapping temporary accommodation for something long-term

Delighted tenants have moved into a new development of 33 council homes in Woolwich.

The one, two and three-bedroom flats and houses were bought by the council to provide long-term council housing for people on the housing register.

About half the properties have been let to those who were for a long time living in insecure temporary accommodation.

Tenants proudly showed off their new homes to visitors including leader of Greenwich council, Councillor Anthony Okereke, and cabinet member for regeneration, Aidan Smith.

One of those tenants said: “I was in temporary accommodation before which wasn’t pleasant, it had black mould. I’ve got a little boy who’s getting bigger and was having to share a room with him.

“Having this permanent home is much better, it’s spacious, it’s clean, it’s tidy, it’s lovely.” She also loved that her son now has “his own room, the way likes it”.

Another new resident had moved in after nine years spent living with his three children in a one-bedroom flat affected by black mould. He said “it’s amazing, there are no words for it, it’s everyone’s dream to have a brand new build house, and we’ve got it!”.

Cllr Okereke said: “Hearing the stories of people who were previously facing homelessness and are now moving into this sensational development is deeply rewarding.

“This development is an example of how we are using every tool at our disposal to create as many homes for people on our Housing Register as we can, working tirelessly to establish this new era of council-led housing delivery.

We wish the new residents every hope and happiness for a future they can now enjoy in a stable, secure home, and we look forward to repeating this success for other people on our housing register in the near future.”

Cllr Smith said: “As well as building hundreds of our own council homes, we are flexible enough to buy developments for local people in housing need where it makes financial sense to do so.

Despite the challenges of dwindling budgets and rising costs we had the most new affordable homes started of any London borough last year, and are looking forward to many more residents moving into newly completed council homes throughout the year.”

The money for the new housing comes from a combination of a Greater London Authority grant and borrowing.

Of the 33 homes, 17 were let to some of the 1,950 households who have been living in unsuitable and expensive temporary accommodation, allowing them to move into well managed and high quality social housing.

The remaining 16 homes were offered to people on the council’s housing register.

The Woolwich development is part of the council’s promise to create 1,750 new council homes for people on the housing register. Over 700 homes are now either complete or under construction.

Pictured top: It’s home sweet home for these Woolwich tenants (Picture: Greenwich council)

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