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Despite the recession, Southwark sees thousands of new homes complete

Published Friday, 17 June 2011

Southwark Council continues to press ahead with building new social and affordable homes, and is building the first council homes to be completed for five years.

On 16 June 2011, construction figures re-released by the office for national statistics show a 5.8% dip in the construction of new public housing across the country, in the first quarter of 2011

While London has suffered a recession and unsteady housing market for the past three years, Southwark Council continues to press ahead with building new social and affordable homes, and is building the first council homes to be completed for five years.

With major regeneration taking place, such as the £1.5bn Elephant and Castle project, including the huge Heygate and Aylesbury estates, combined with increasing waiting lists for homes, the council is fulfilling its promise to build more affordable and social rented homes across the borough. Housing is high on the agenda for the council, and more than ever, Southwark is looking to ways of relying less on the government for funding, and more on generating interest for private development partners so projects are self sufficient and reach completion.

In Elephant and Castle alone, 1,033 homes have been built since 2008, with five more schemes completing this year. On some sites, residents who previously lived on the Heygate and Aylesbury estates have moved to brand new homes on nearby sites, such as the completed Albany place on Aylesbury, the first part of nine stages of the planned regeneration. While demolition continues on the Heygate estate, ambitious plans to realise the vision for Aylesbury remain in place.

Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "It's great to see the new homes reaching completion and residents who moved from the original estates to brand new ones enjoying a better quality of life. These homes are part of the bigger picture, of creating and adding to the thriving local community."

Councillor Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for housing, said, "These are good quality, warm, dry and safe homes which show that the council is committed to increasing the number of new, high quality homes that the borough's residents need. As well as investing almost half a billion pounds in our existing stock, we will use all of our powers to continue this momentum in building new ones."

Mrs Gilchrist, who recently moved in and originally lived at Chartridge on the Aylesbury said; "I think my new home is wonderful, I was a bit dubious about the move at the beginning, because I'd lived in Chartridge for 35 years but the help with the move was excellent and I'm absolutely delighted. Everything came fitted, including the kitchen appliances and the rooms are spacious. I have managed to stay in touch with my old neighbours - I still see them at the shops and we still chat to each other."

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