New homes for homeless families and people with learning disabilities completed in Sydenham

Posted 07/06/2023

Work has finished on 32 new social homes for homeless families and people with learning disabilities, as part of Lewisham Council’s Building for Lewisham programme.

The new social housing development has replaced a disused warehouse building on Mayow Road in Sydenham to provide much-needed homes for local residents.

26 of the self-contained apartments will be used as temporary accommodation for homeless families in Lewisham, helping reduce the number of people having to stay in nightly-paid accommodation, such as hostels and B&Bs, while the Council supports them to find a permanent home.

The development also includes six supported living homes for young adults with learning disabilities and autism, delivered in partnership with NHS England through their Learning Disability and Autism programme. This accommodation will help residents to live more independently in a safe and inclusive environment. As part of the development, supported living residents will be provided with 24/7 on-site care and support, as well as their own communal garden.

Representatives from Lewisham Council and NHS England were joined by colleagues from Avanti Architects, who designed the building, and developers Higgins Partnerships for a tour of the completed project on Monday.

Cllr Brenda Dacres, Cabinet Member for Housing Development and Planning, said: "Despite the progress we’ve made delivering new social homes, we still have over 3,000 families living in temporary accommodation in Lewisham, often for long periods of time. By building high-quality, self-contained temporary accommodation, we can reduce the number of homeless families having to spend time in hostels and B&Bs while we work with them to find a permanent home."

Cllr Paul Bell, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said: “Enabling more adults with learning disabilities and autism to live independently is a key part of our Building for Lewisham programme. As well as helping to tackle the housing crisis and support homeless families, this development will have a huge impact on the lives of the young people who will be moving in. I’m pleased we’ve been able to work in partnership with NHS England to deliver this important scheme."

Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins Partnerships, said: “This development has provided much needed homes for people and created an environment where they can feel safe and live much more independently.

“We have also worked with the local community to create training and employment opportunities as well as a number of social value initiatives including a community hoarding project which brought residents together to take part in a series of workshops with artist Rose Hill and develop the final artwork which we proudly displayed on our hoarding.”

With work on these new homes now complete, residents are set to move in shortly. 

The Mayow Road development forms part of the Council’s Building for Lewisham programme, which is delivering new social homes across the borough for local residents. With around 10,000 families on Lewisham’s housing waiting list, building new social housing is a vital part of the Council’s work to tackle the housing crisis.