Hidden Homes tally tops 250 with unveiling of new rooftop extension scheme

Published: Friday 20th March 15

Wandsworth’s pioneering Hidden Homes initiative has reached a major landmark with the official unveiling of the 250th affordable home built by the council since the scheme began.

Six new homes have been built in Nightingale Lane just a stone’s throw from Wandsworth Common. All six will be offered at low cost rent to people on the council’s housing waiting lists.

Five of the new homes have been provided in a rooftop extension at Abbott House, a council-owned block of flats on the corner of Nightingale Lane and Hendrick Avenue and have their own balconies offering striking views over Wandsworth Common. The sixth has been built on the ground floor in space that was previously used for storage.

The new rooftop Hidden Homes

 The attractive rooftop extension is clad in aluminium and timber and has replaced the block’s defunct water tank and other unused roof structures. All the properties in the block have benefited from a range of improvements including new windows.

These six new Hidden Homes bring the total number built by the council to exactly 250. These have all been allocated to local families in housing need for rent and also to first time buyers living in the borough on a shared ownership basis.

Since it was launched in November 2002, the Hidden Homes scheme has transformed vacant and disused spaces on housing estates like laundry rooms, storage areas and defunct boiler rooms into modern and attractive dwellings. 

It has successfully brought back into use redundant spaces on housing estates that are either eyesores or could otherwise become havens for anti-social behaviour.

And the programme has also represented great value for taxpayers. Because the council already owns these sites - there have been no expensive land purchases involved. 

Wandsworth’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Paul Ellis said: “The Hidden Homes scheme has played an important role in increasing our supply of affordable housing over the past decade. 

Cllr Ellis on the balcony of the 250th Hidden Home

 “As well as proving incredibly cost effective, it has also helped create jobs in the construction sector and been the key to regenerating redundant land on housing estates.”

Wandsworth’s supply of affordable housing is set to be boosted by 5,000 homes over the next decade. The council’s wider housing strategy – the Wandsworth Housing Offer – includes a commitment to deliver a total of 18,000 new homes over the next ten years. The strategy aims to help a much broader range of people achieve their housing aspirations. Find out more about the Wandsworth Housing Offer online.

The council is already starting on its next wave of developments with 57 new low cost rental homes being built across three council owned sites in Nine Elms. These properties will be used to help existing tenants downsize from large flats they no longer need freeing these up for families living in overcrowded conditions.

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Recent comments

4 Disused and crumbling garages on Oakshaw Road could be demolished and new homes built. Valuable space is wasted there.
Celia Blair

14 May 2015

What an amazing idea
Richard Barrett

20 March 2015