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‘Dodgy’ Holloway garages converted from bad behaviour hotspot to affordable homes

PUBLISHED: 14:08 11 December 2015 | UPDATED: 14:09 11 December 2015

At this morning's unveiling of the new Parkhurst Road flats in Holloway: Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, new residents Kelly Stevens and Betty Daniel – they will be moving into two of the new council flats – and Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development.Picture: Steve Bainbridge

At this morning's unveiling of the new Parkhurst Road flats in Holloway: Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council, new residents Kelly Stevens and Betty Daniel – they will be moving into two of the new council flats – and Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development.Picture: Steve Bainbridge

2015 Steve Bainbridge Photography Ltd

Rundown garages have been transformed into much-needed affordable houses.

The rundown garages in Parkhurst Road, Holloway, pictured before the redevelopment by Islington CouncilThe rundown garages in Parkhurst Road, Holloway, pictured before the redevelopment by Islington Council

With rent and house prices notoriously high in Islington, the conversion, unveiled this morning, is part of the council’s wider scheme to bring 2,000 affordable homes to the borough by 2019.

The row of garages, in Parkhurst Road, Holloway, were previously underused and attracted anti-social behaviour. They have now become 18 flats, with 11 two-beds at “genuinely affordable” social rent of £130 a week. Two will be shared-ownership and five up for market sale.

Speaking at today’s launch in Williamson Street Community Centre, Cllr James Murray, executive member for housing and development, said: “What’s happening nationally can make it very difficult to build genuinely affordable housing.

“Across the road from here, developers bought the old TA site and turned around saying they can only build 14 per cent affordable housing. Just up the road, Holloway Prison is closing and we are all worried about that becoming expensive housing.

“But we can still make positive change and it’s brilliant that we have been able to build here.”

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of the authority, added, sarcastically: “What genius thought of garages here, rather than houses?

“Some designs around Islington are a mistake, but it’s fantastic that we could convert these garages - which could be a little dodgy - to places that are nice to walk around.

“Our estates can be great places to live. If we can invest like this, it will keep them going for the next generations. The difference between what the government and this council are doing to solve the housing crisis could not be more stark.”

The rented homes were allocated to current residents of the estate who either lived in overcrowded conditions, needed to downsize or had mobility issues. They will be occupied in the coming weeks.

Upcoming council-led affordable developments include 20 units in Lyon Street, off Caledonian Road, for over-55s. They will open next month.

There are also plans for a larger development of 140 units in the King Square Estate, off Goswell Road.


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