December 18 2013 Latest news:
Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Monday, October 14, 2013
When John and Rita Wilson’s children left home, they began looking to move from their three bedroom flat to a smaller property.
So when they saw that Havering Council was looking for residents who wanted to give up their larger properties to move to a smaller one, they jumped at the chance.
Rita, 61, said: “Once the children had all left home, we were looking to move somewhere without stairs to make life easier for John.
“We really wanted to move to a bungalow so when we saw one come up in Romford we put our names down for it.”
The couple are among those who have moved to smaller homes as part of a council project aimed at helping older people downsize from larger family homes to new bungalows. They hope this will free up larger properties for younger families who need more space.
On Wednesday the cabinet approved council funding of nearly £5.5m to supplement more than £2m from the Greater London Authority for a number of new affordable housing developments.
Subject to planning permission being granted for all the schemes, a total of 70 new homes will be built. The council said it will be bringing underused land back into use.
Among the proposed schemes are:
• The redevelopment of the old Albyns Close sheltered housing flats in Rainham to provide 20 new modern bungalows for sale and rent for older people;
• Building on under-used land at Ravenscourt Grove sheltered housing in Hornchurch and Holsworthy House sheltered housing in Harold Hill to provide three new bungalows at each;
• Demolishing 12 bedsit bungalows with structural problems in Harold Hill and replacing them with 12 new two-bedroom houses;
• Utilising two plots of land in Bideford Close, Harold Hill, to build nine two-bedroomed flats;
• Remodelling unused storage space at New Plymouth and Napier Houses in Rainham to build three new two-bedroom flats;
• Building four new two-bedroom flats at Thomas England and William Pike Houses in Romford;
• Building four one-bedroom bungalows and four one-bedroom flats over two floors off Ullswater Way in South Hornchurch for adults with disability.
Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “Making better use of under-used land and old storage rooms at the bottom of some of our tower blocks shows our ambition to bring forward innovative and bold ideas to provide more homes for the people of Havering.”