First brick laid for new Ham housing development

Release Date: 17 July 2019

The first brick of a new Ham housing development for young adults in need of supported living was laid yesterday morning, Tuesday 16 July 2019, by Cllr Liz Jaeger, as part of a commencement ceremony.

Richmond Council, PA Housing and Certitude are working together to deliver an innovative and exciting new housing development for young people with learning disabilities and autism.

This much-needed development will comprise of three one bedroom flats (plus carer’s accommodation) in a small two storey blocks, and a two bedroom bungalow to include a carer’s bedroom. The homes, which will be at affordable rents to nominees of the London Borough of Richmond, reflect the Council’s commitment to help meet the needs of young, vulnerable adults. Once completed, the scheme will be managed by Certitude London, an organisation which provides care support for similar schemes across the Capital.

There are similar existing schemes in the area, which are incredibly successful and have provided much-needed housing for young, vulnerable adults.

The site was originally a garage court, and was purchased from the Council by PA Housing after obtaining planning permission. Devcon – who have developed some of the similar schemes in the area – were brought on board as the contractors for the scheme. After some delays due to tree protection requirements, work recommenced in May 2019, and completion is anticipated for the end of April 2020. The project has received grant funding from the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.

Cllr Liz Jaeger, Lead Member for Housing for Richmond Council, said:

"The redevelopment of these underused and unsightly garages will allow us, working together with PA Housing, to increase the supply of much-needed accommodation that provides an opportunity for some of our more vulnerable Richmond residents to live independently in a fully support environment. Richmond upon Thames presents many challenges when it comes to delivering affordable housing and it is these smaller spaces that can help deliver more affordable homes for our residents who need them and must stay local."

"The Council has financially supported this development, committing £250,000, along with investment from PA Housing and the GLA."

Chris Whelan, Executive Director of Business Development and Sales for PA Housing, said:

"We have always enjoyed a good working relationship with the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, and this scheme is particularly significant because it is helping deliver high quality housing for a vulnerable client group, which is a big part of what we are about. The project presented us with a number of challenges due to the constraints of the site, and we believe the design makes excellent use of the land whilst respecting the privacy of our neighbours. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Council, and we would like to keep helping them to deliver innovative and affordable housing projects like this."

Lawrence Pope, Managing Director at Devcon, said:

"It is such an important scheme. The feedback that I have had from the first scheme in the programme is that it is making a big difference to young peoples’ lives, and that is important to us. We want to give back to the community. We only work on affordable housing, we don’t do private housing, but when you have a scheme that is for a very good cause, that is a bonus.

"We have learned a lot from the first site, and have incorporated what we can –we have looked at upping the sound proofing as much as we can, for example, and there is other minor improvements too. It is going to be a great scheme.”

Mark Wallis, Care Manager for Certitude, said:

"It is unusual for any borough in London to focus completely on autism. A scheme like this could give people independence and improve the quality of life for them and their families. With PA Housing, Devcon, Certitude London and the London Borough of Richmond Council all working together, I think it is a brilliant example of partnership working within health and social care.

"I believe everyone is really going out on a limb to provide something unique and building a service around people. Change is coming and the organisations here today are leading that change."

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P221/19

Updated: 31 July 2019