Raising the roof

RESIDENTS on the waiting list for affordable housing have cause to celebrate as the council has stepped in to save a housing development project. Camden Council s Executive gave the go-ahead last week for funds to be used to support the affordable housing

RESIDENTS on the waiting list for affordable housing have cause to celebrate as the council has stepped in to save a housing development project.

Camden Council's Executive gave the go-ahead last week for funds to be used to support the affordable housing project at 146-162 Kilburn High Road, in Kilburn, which will provide 52 social housing units.

The council is allocating a grant of �960,000, from its Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) to Origin Housing Association, which will deliver the housing project.

Cllr James King, Kilburn ward, said: "I regularly have conversations with residents in Camden who are seeking affordable housing and may be living in overcrowded conditions or unsuitable rental properties, and there is a significant demand for social housing in the Kilburn area.


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"The council are now in a position to provide vital financial support to the development to ensure it is delivered and it will be 100 per cent social housing."

The Origin project had initially received planning permission and funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to create 20 affordable homes and 32 private units.

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However, the private units had to be scrapped after the project ran into financing problems during the recession, and so the housing association decided to pursue an affordable housing scheme across all units, prompting the council to provide �960,000, the equivalent of �30,000 per additional affordable unit, to support the scheme.

The residential units are being converted from offices above retail units, which are currently empty as the shops renting the space had to close at the beginning of last year ahead of the development programme.

Now that the housing development scheme is back on track, the shops are set to reopen when the retail units are completed and it is hoped this will boost people using the Kilburn High Road, as customers flock back to the shops.

Cllr James King said: "It means that the whole development itself can move forward which will ensure that we'll get some spruced up shops in the Kilburn High Road.

"People are looking forward to retail units opening again which will be a big boost for traders and shoppers on the Kilburn High Road."

A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "Retailers have signed agreements for three of the retail units to be handed over and opened this summer following fitting out.

"Camden Council has contributed a grant of �960,000 to ensure that alongside the 20 units of affordable housing, the remaining 32 units which were previously privately-owned will now be completed as affordable units.

"This is excellent news for Camden as it means more social and intermediate housing will become available."

sofia.mitra-thakur@archant.co.uk

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