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: 

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Recent comments

I am a member of the Tonsley Residents Association and have been deputed by the Association to establish with the Council the plans for the location of the 605 Council Homes as detailed in the Email from the Council on 17th November 2017. I am very happy to meet the appropriate officer within the Council to acquaint myself with these plans on behalf of the Association.
Sir G M A Bonham Bt

21 February 2018

An investment of £136 million is envisaged. An investment suggests a return. What sort of return is expected on this investment ?
Janis Humberstone

8 January 2018

Sua missão é simples: lavar a sustentação a todo custo!
Como montar um pc gamer

19 November 2017

When will current leaseholders be informed whether their block has been identified as one to have the hidden homes built on top? Does it only apply to those blocks which currently have flat roofs as in the NIghtingale Lane project?
jenefer spells

18 November 2017

I hope the council are only going to build these new 'affordable' homes for tenants who can afford to pay rent and for the shared ownership scheme. Otherwise who will end up footing the bill if the new residents are heavily relying on Welfare. Originally in the 50s/60s Council Flats with tenants all paying rent were paid for several times over and the Council made money - are they sure they will still be able to ?
Liz D

18 November 2017