As part of Hackney’s ambitious building programme to build genuinely affordable new Council homes, Higgins has delivered 70 brand new social rent Council homes at Colville Estate for existing residents who had been living in post War properties that were in a state of disrepair.
Sitting next to the Regent's Canal in Hoxton, Colville is one of Hackney's biggest building projects. Higgins was appointed by the Council to deliver phase 2a and 2b on the live council estate in close proximity of tenants as part of the extensive masterplan, which will eventually replace 432 of the original homes with over 900 high quality new homes, allowing all of Colville’s social rent tenants to move to a brand new Council home on the estate alongside much-needed additional new Council homes.
One existing Colville Estate tenant who has just moved into her new Council home built by Higgins is Terri Sullivan. Terri comments, “In the old place, no matter how much you decorated and polyfilled the walls, the cracks would still come back and the damp would still be there. It is nice to move into a brand new building; the kids have their bedrooms on the ground floor while mine is on the first floor and the kitchen is a lot bigger so we are able to sit and eat dinner; friends come round and we can sit in the kitchen and have a chat and we are able to use the nice balcony when the weather is warmer.
“We owe a lot to CETRA for speaking up for what the community wanted. As we were going to be living in them, CETRA felt it was important for us to have a say. We wanted to stay on the estate because of the school for my son and my husband and daughter’s work which is local and easily accessible and it’s also where we all know.”
As part of the Mayor of London’s Building Council Homes for Londoners, the Mayor has secured more than £4.8 billion from the Government to help start building at least 116,000 affordable homes by March 2022. This will help councils to build a new generation of council homes, with the majority of homes on the basis of social rent levels.
Recent statistics from the GLA revealed that 2018/2019 saw more affordable homes being built than in any year since 1984/85, with 14,544 affordable homes started, exceeding the 14,000 target agreed by government ministers. Of the 14,544 homes started, 3,991 homes were built at social rent level, and 1,916 were council homes.
Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins comments, “Higgins is committed to working with Local Authorities across London and the South East to deliver much needed brand new social rent Council homes. As an industry we must work together to deliver more homes that are genuinely affordable for all Londoners.
“We are extremely proud of what we have achieved for the residents on The Colville Estate and from the start we knew it was important to form a strong alliance with the residents to ensure they were informed throughout the design and build process. Workshops and consultation meetings were held so everyone was kept up to date and we believe this has helped deliver an award winning scheme which has set the standard for local authority-led housing in the borough.”
As well as the Council homes, Higgins has also delivered six Shared Ownership homes, 129 sqm of commercial units and 40 private sale homes which has helped pay for the new social housing in the absence of any government funding.