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New Council homes open their doors on Caledonian Ward estate

June 30, 2013
Vulcan Way after development (web)

Vulcan Way with the new homes built under the existing flats

The opening of 17 new homes was praised by the leader of Islington Council at a meeting of the full Council on Thursday 27th June. The new Council built homes on the Westbourne Estate’s Vulcan Way have been created from converted garages udnerneath flats originally built in the mid 1970s.

A handful of the new flats are being offered for sale but three quarters are available as standard Council tenancies. They have been allocated to existing local residents who either lived in overcrowded homes, wanted to downsize or residents with mobility problems who need homes that are easier for them to access and get around.

Of the 17 new homes, 15 are one bed flats that have been created from 60 disused garages on an estate where residents had experienced anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping. Two further homes – one four and one five bed house – have been built on a disused car parking area.  The scheme is self-funding with 75% affordable housing.

Vulcan Way before development (web)

What Vulcan Way looked like with unused garages and a very harsh surrounding environment to the existing flats

The new homes are very much cheaper to heat and maintain than traditional properties. The whole of Vulcan Way has been upgraded with new green space, planting, paving and lighting.

Islington Council is building 2,000 new affordable homes by 2015 to alleviate the borough’s housing crisis. As the borough is short of open space, the Council has identified development opportunities for new council housing, including poorly used areas on council estates, taking opportunities to improve the environment for existing residents, increasing the quality and quantity of greenspace where possible.

Downsizing to smaller homes frees up properties for families needing larger homes – Islington has some of the worst overcrowding in the capital.

At an opening ceremony earlier this month, Islington Mayor Barry Edwards, Caledonian Ward councillors and MP Emily Thornberry cut the ribbon for the first tenants moving-in.

Cllr James Murray who represents Caledonian’s neighbouring Barnsbury Ward and is  Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development said: “Islington faces a housing crisis – with government benefit cuts and private sector rent rises making it harder and harder for many residents to afford to live here. Building new council homes for local people helps families living in overcrowding and means we can make sure there is more genuinely-affordable housing in Islington.

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