Meridian Home Start provides affordable homes for Greenwich

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Royal Greenwich has joined forces with Meridian Home Start to deliver brand new homes for over 60 families and individuals previously on housing waiting lists

Each new home has its own front courtyard and terrace areas, and all are let to local families at discounted rates.

Priority will be given to those in overcrowded or unsatisfactory rented accommodation, key workers, those threatened with homelessness and those on the council housing register.

Woodpecker Gardens joins another Meridian development at Jack’s Acre in Eltham, which provided 29 affordable homes, with a further two sites at Carnbrook Road, SE3, and Fletching Road, SE7, currently under construction.

Observing social distancing rules, the councillors and chair of Meridian Homes Start board toured Woodpecker Gardens before being introduced to two of the residents who moved in recently, following “virtual viewings” arranged by Pinnacle lettings management to overcome the challenges posed by lockdown.

“This is one of the best things to happen in Greenwich.”

Woodpecker Gardens residents, Omotayo Garba and Rosemary Agu, said: “My family is very happy with the partnership between all parties – Meridian Homes Start & Greenwich Council in that it has helped us settle into a new home that is affordable, and provides tenancy security.”

Other residents, Mr and Mrs Tanase, said: “The event was great; my family are very happy with our new house, especially the internal lift. We thank the councillors, Meridian Homes & Pinnacle for visiting.”

Member for Housing Cllr, Anthony Okereke, said: “We’re extremely proud of the fact that our partnership with Meridian Home Start, which was set up by Royal Greenwich to overcome restrictions placed on council home building by central government, has successfully delivered 32 quality new homes for local residents.

“For our borough to thrive it is essential that key workers and those on modest incomes have access to affordable housing, and with an average rent of £870 for a two-bedroom house, Woodpecker Gardens fulfils this need.

“With this partnership and the 750 council homes due to be delivered by our Greenwich Builds programme the council are stepping in to provide much-needed homes which will keep our community strong.”

Leader of the Council, councillor Danny Thorpe, added: “It’s been so great to meet the residents at Woodpecker Gardens and to see how the innovative model set up by Royal Greenwich with Meridian Home Start has paid dividends for local people.

“Rents being charged at 65% of market-rate means that these high-quality homes are within reach of ordinary Londoners, making good on our commitment to tackling the housing crisis.

“We’re looking forward to delivering many more of these homes both in partnership with Meridian and through our Greenwich Builds council home-building programme”.

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