Ealing is building more council homes than any other London authority. In total, the council aims to provide 2,500 new, genuinely affordable homes by 2022.
The single biggest challenge the borough faces is a chronic shortage of housing local people can afford. Average house prices are around 10 times the average salary, while renting privately is increasingly unaffordable for many.
Of the 2,500 planned new homes, 1,138 will be directly built by the council, with the rest delivered in partnership with private developers. They will be partly paid for by a £100million grant that the council recently won from the Mayor of London.
The homes will be built at sites all over the borough, including on estates already earmarked for regeneration.
From Northolt to Acton, ageing buildings on nine estates are being replaced with modern, high quality homes. The council is taking care to provide opportunities for residents to have their say through ballots.
Here we take a closer look at four of these estate projects.
COPLEY HANWELL W7
Copley Hanwell W7 is the council’s flagship development, regenerating the Copley Close estate into a modern, safe neighbourhood.
Instead of partnering with a company, the council itself is both developer and landlord at Copley – and it is one of the first local authorities in the country to work in this innovative way. It ensures more of the homes will be genuinely affordable.
The homes are of such a high standard that the development has taken honours at the London Planning Awards, the First Time Buyer Awards and the Evening Standard New Homes Awards.
“We love being at home now,” said Susan Packwood, who lives with her daughter Angela on one of the redeveloped sections of Copley. She bought a 25% share of a new two-bedroom flat there and, in so doing, became a homeowner for the very first time.
“I love the green space in the area and the homes are safe, secure and elegant,” Susan added.
RECTORY PARK AVENUE ESTATE, NORTHOLT
Working in partnership with Network Housing Association, the council has comprehensively redeveloped the Rectory Park site, with phased demolition of 270 homes to make way for 425 new properties for affordable rent or sale, including shared ownership. The work, which also includes a new community centre, is expected to be completed in 2020.
SOUTH ACTON – ACTON GARDENS
Acton Gardens, formerly South Acton estate, is a collaboration with housing association L&Q and house-builder Countryside Properties. It began in 2008 and will continue over the next nine years, eventually creating 2,500 homes for social rent, shared ownership and sale.
There will be four distinct new neighbourhoods, each centred around a new or existing park or open space.
A new ‘community hub’ will have two halls, a youth centre with a music studio, a GP and dental surgery, training kitchens for aspiring chefs and a shop.
The picture at the top of this story is of the junction of Packington Road and Palmerston Road, at Acton Gardens.
You can read about an urban art project on the estate here.
GREEN MAN LANE ESTATE, WEST EALING
This estate was originally built in the 1970s and, as well as suffering from anti-social behaviour, its flats did not suit tenants’ needs.
Work to renew the estate is about half way through. As well as creating more modern, spacious homes, the project will see the total number of homes at the site jump from 474 to 770. St John’s Primary School has also been rebuilt and enlarged.
‘COMMUNITIES WHERE PEOPLE THRIVE’
Councillor Peter Mason, the council’s cabinet member for housing, planning and transformation, said: “The council is the borough’s biggest landlord, with almost 16,000 properties leased or tenanted. Our estate regeneration programme is replacing dilapidated housing stock with good quality, safe and genuinely affordable homes, creating communities where people can thrive.
“Over the lifetime of the regeneration programme, the council and its partners will invest £1.3billion in housing – a figure that will continue to rise over the coming years. As well as creating new homes for social rent, we are also offering other affordable options like shared ownership and also providing award-winning homes for sale on the open market. The money generated from sales will play a vital role in offsetting the cost of building more genuinely affordable homes.
“Estate ballots will help us further improve the way we consult residents. They offer us the opportunity to strengthen the role residents will have in shaping the future of their communities.”
For more information on housing, visit www.ealing.gov.uk/housing