Massive housebuilding expansion: 605 council homes for rent and shared ownership on the way across Wandsworth
Published: Friday 17th November 17
A thousand new homes look set to be on the way at sites across Wandsworth in the coming years, with 60.5% of them for low cost rent and shared ownership.
Previously completed Hidden Homes on the Rollo Estate
A total of 605 would be new council housing - starting at 35% of market rents - along with shared ownership, and the rest would be built for sale to help pay for the new homes.
Uniquely, they will be targeted at existing residents and workers from the borough through local lettings and marketing, and the scheme is titled Building Homes for Wandsworth People.
Council tenants living nearby and under-occupying their existing homes would be given the opportunity to ‘downsize’ into the newly-built council housing if they wish to, with priority also given to overcrowded households.
With shared ownership, buyers only pay a deposit on the value of the percentage being bought, so a 5% deposit on a 25% share works out as a 1.25% deposit on the total property value.
Last year 90% of shared ownership homes in Wandsworth were bought by people living or working in the borough, and the council is one of only a few to prioritise in this way.
A report to the council’s Housing and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 16 November proposed that any proposals for development would be fully consulted on with local residents, with the homes built during the next eight years.
This represents an extension of the council’s long-running Hidden Homes housebuilding programme which has so far delivered more than 250 low cost homes for rent and shared ownership on under-used council land during the past decade.
A total of 210 homes are under construction or soon to start – 61 council homes are being built in Battersea, Putney and Tooting right now – and Building for Wandsworth People adds another 790.
Innovative ways of delivering this include providing new homes on top of existing blocks, which not only replaces old roofs at no cost to residents, but can also reduce the service charge by spreading it among a greater number of households.
If approved at a meeting of the council’s Executive on 27 November, the building programme would be supported by £136million of council investment.
Selling properties on high value sites can help pay for homes for rent on sites that can be more expensive or difficult to build on, an approach used by other councils such as Hackney and Enfield. Revenue from sales is reinvested to pay for new council housing and shared ownership homes.
Improvements to neighbouring roads, pavements and open spaces are also included, so that local people can benefit.
Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “Building Homes for Wandsworth People will provide 605 new council homes as well as for shared ownership, so that residents’ sons and daughters can continue to live in the borough and working households vital to the local economy and to local services.
“We’ve been getting on with housebuilding for years, in addition to the thousands of new homes for shared ownership and low cost rent being delivered through regeneration at Wandsworth town centre, Battersea, Roehampton, Nine Elms and throughout the borough.
“In a housebuilding programme such as this achieving 60.5% as council housing and shared ownership far exceeds not only what other councils are doing but also the Mayor of London’s own targets, so it was disappointing to see that so far cross-party consensus has not been achieved in supporting Building Homes for Wandsworth People.”
Shehzad Ahmed, 25, moved with his mother and brother during October into a recently-completed three-bedroom council property near Southfields, built through the council’s Hidden Homes housebuilding programme.
He said: “We lived in Roehampton, it was overcrowded and wasn’t suitable for my mother as there were 32 stairs and no lift – here is much more modern, it’s more suitable and we also have the right amount of rooms. I’d definitely recommend it [Hidden Homes] as it changes people’s lives.”
More on Wandsworth Council and housebuilding:
- More than 3,000 new homes for shared ownership, social renting, low cost rent, market rent and for sale are to be built by the council and partners through the regeneration of the Alton estate, Roehampton, and Winstanley and York Road estates, Battersea, guaranteeing newly built homes for all secure council tenants and owner-occupiers on their estates
- Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council, is a member of the Mayor of London’s Homes for Londoners Board
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, referred to Wandsworth Council as a ‘fantastic example’ of local authority housebuilding during the Mayor’s Question Time of 19 October, 2016
- Building Homes for Wandsworth People: 605 for council housing and shared ownership, construction started
- Hackney Housing Supply Programme: 350 for council housing and shared ownership, at planning stage
- Enfield Small Housing Sites: 37 for council housing and shared ownership, construction started