On the 26th November we celebrated the opening of the new refurbished flats with 70 guests, a mixture of government officials, corporate supporters, community volunteers and partner charities, all with a connection to the project.
We were privileged to have Stephen Williams MP (pictured above), the minister in charge of Empty Homes at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) along on his first public engagement in his new role. He was really impressed by the wide community engagement the project has achieved, with over 400 volunteers spending time on site assisting with the 8 month build (starting in April 2013). David Ireland from the charity Empty Homes also came and added his support as the event took place during National Empty Homes week 2013.
We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our supporters and volunteers who have worked hard on this site, including Accenture, Acenden, Arup, Bloomberg, Caterham School, Centrepoint, Cisco, DCLG, Everything Everywhere, Genworth Financial, Haskoll, Housing for Women, MBIA, Newton Europe, Neuberger Berman, PineBridge, William Morris Entertainment and Wells Fargo. Some of the volunteers from Wells Fargo featured in the short BBC1 Britain’s Empty Homes coverage we received on the project in October 2013.
We also want to give a particular mention and thank you to the amazing apprentices from Waterloo Community Development Group who have been working with us since June.
Together with our housing partner, Housing for Women who will be supporting and managing their clients as tenants in the new homes, we were able to celebrate what has been a tremendous effort in taking a large derelict Victorian street property and creating modern, spacious and well-designed homes which will be rented to the women-led families for an affordable rent for at least 10 years. The interior design was a collaboration with Cassandra Ellis (pictured above), who generously gave her time to work with HFHH on an enhanced specification for the flats, with little additional cost to the budget. In our view, as well as the home owner’s, and tenants’, she has achieved this remarkably well.
Below are some photos of the finished flats, and the completion event:
Photo 1 (above): The much improved frontage from the street.
Photo 2 (above): An attractive new living space in the basement one-bed flat.
Photo 3 (above): The kitchen space in the upper three-bed maisonette, with steps into the re-landscaped garden below.
Photo 4 (above): A spacious hallway with neutral modern décor, at entry level for the three-bed maisonette.
Photo 5 (above): The bedrooms are very large, and finished in colours chosen by the tenant families.
Photo 6 (above): Darren Cottrell, our construction manager in charge of the site build, together with the apprentices who worked with us. Darren is a keen photographer and you can see more of his work on his website.
The project has been featured in 3 publications:
* Southwark News (article in 21/11/2013 publication – page 14)
* The Peckham Peculiar (Issue 1 – Jan 2014 – page 11)
* Apprentice Builder (magazine article in 15/01/2014 – page 7)