Residents of an estate in Forest Hill celebrated the re-opening of nine new council homes last week, part of an ambitious scheme announced by Lewisham Homes to create 31 new council properties by the end of the year.
Lewisham Council and Bonds Builders, the contractors, hosted the event to thank local people for their patience during the build of the new houses.
Liyan, who has moved into one of the new council homes with his wife and two children said at the event at Wood Vale: “Our new flat is more than a home. It is everything to me and my family. We have had to move five times in the last three years and it’s been hard. We never expected to live somewhere brand new! The people who already live in the area have been so kind to us.”
Others, who already lived on the estate, were pleased to see the new garden. Vass, who has lived at Wood Vale for more than 40 years said at the celebration: “I have an allotment but now my wife and I can spend time in the shared garden much closer to home. I’m pleased to see new council flats being built here. With so many people on the housing waiting list, it’s important. Everyone should have a home.”
Lewisham Homes Board Chair, Ainsley Forbes said: “I’m delighted that we have created nine beautiful new council homes for local people. We want everyone who lives at Wood Vale to love where they live. This area has a strong sense of community. The improved shared garden and new bug hotel provides an environmentally friendly legacy for everyone living here.”
At the event local dogs were welcomed to highlight the importance of looking after the environment. The dogs wore neck bandanas with ‘love where you live’ written on. Bonds Builders also unveiled a bug hotel in the garden, providing a nesting space for insects and a chance for local children to learn about conservation.
In January 2017 over 9,400 families and individuals were on Lewisham council’s Housing Register, this figure has increased over the year.
Lewisham and the other ELL boroughs’ homeless rate has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past few years. With thousands of ‘hidden homeless’ cases in each borough.
Lewisham Council has developed and built many new social housing projects over the past couple years to try to combat homelessness, including a pledge to build at least 500 new council homes by 2018. PLACE/Ladywell, the pop-up village, has won many housing awards and has provided vital emergency housing to the borough’s most vulnerable residents.
A Lewisham Homes spokesperson told Eastlondonlines: “Working in partnership with Lewisham Council we are creating new council homes across the borough to meet local housing needs. More than 100 of our new homes will e built using modular construction methods.
“This means home will be built more quickly with less disruption to local people. Over 50% of our new homes will be created from disused spaces such as former offices and garage sites and this includes 50 specialist homes for older people.”