with local authorities facing increased pressure to make savings, and housing in such short supply, it’s no wonder that London boroughs are struggling to meet the demand for affordable homes. That’s why we believe it’s important to work with local authorities to bring empty homes back into use. With expertise, an empty derelict shell can be converted and renovated, to deliver decent homes at affordable rents to local families suffering serious overcrowding, or living in unsuitable temporary accommodation.
Adrienne is a bright 24 year old mother with a bubbly six year old. Until recently, she and her little daughter were living on the sixth floor of an old commercial building in Lewisham. This building had been very loosely ‘converted’ by a large property management company. Her accommodation consisted of one room, which had once been a single office in the old building. There was no lift, no radiator in her room and very little furniture. Adrienne slept on a mattress on the floor which she shared with her daughter.
Adrienne described her experiences to us when we met her. She told us that the accommodation was mainly occupied by single people. Many of them were drug users. She said it was a very intimidating environment. It didn’t help that she had to struggle up six flights of stairs with her daughter and her shopping, feeling exposed and vulnerable. Adrienne had started to lose hope, having been in that accommodation for four years.
Adrienne has now moved into one of our spacious new converted flats in the borough. With two good-sized double bedrooms, her daughter finally has her own room and a safe place to play. She can enjoy splashing about in a bubble bath with her toys for the first time. We have been helping Adrienne to gradually get all the furniture she needs to make a cosy place to relax. Now she has a safe and warm home to enjoy, a place to watch her daughter grow, and to start planning for their future.