BHP launch new homes on Chapter Road
Published by Nadia Khan for Brent Housing Partnership in Housing and also in Communities
BHP staff and local councillors outside Chapter Road development
Site of Grunwick dispute given new lease of life
Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) launched its new build homes development in Chapter Road, Willesden at an opening ceremony on Friday 22 June.
The site is very historical as it was where the famous Grunwick dispute took place from 1976-1978. This was an industrial dispute involving union recognition where strikers were led by Jayaben Desai. The site has remained derelict for over 30 years, and BHP stepped in to bring life back to the area.
Chapter Road is a new build development with a total of 38 units, 13 of which will be leased to Metropolitan Housing Trust. The development will create a medical unit with a doctors and dentist that will serve the local community. The area which previously housed factories has now been regenerated providing homes and facilities for local people.
The homes on Chapter Road are part of the Settled Homes Initiative (SHI) which is funded by grants from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and is intended to provide settled accommodation for homeless households, to maximise the amount of permanent accommodation to be provided in the long term and offer good value for money compared to other forms of provision.
BHP was allocated £10 million from the Mayor of London’s Targeted Funding Stream (Settled Homes Initiative) following a successful grant bid to provide homes for homeless households nominated by Brent Council. BHP has bought mainly 2 or 3 bedroom properties to house families and this has enabled BHP to help the council to reduce the demand for other forms of temporary accommodation.
Since the project began BHP has:
- Bought 145 properties
- 5 new build houses
- Redeveloped 3 new blocks – consisting of 25 flats
All the new build homes built by BHP are sustainable and meet eco-homes criteria. All purchased properties have been refurbished to decent homes standard.
BHP has now bought a total of 175 properties, making it one of the largest property owning ALMOs in the UK.
BHP worked alongside Durkan (contractors), John Rowan Partners (consultants) and Alexander Sedgley (architects).
Gerry Doherty, Chief Executive of BHP, said: “The Chapter Road development is a shining example of how BHP has innovatively addressed a very real problem of housing shortages within the borough to provide much needed homes for homeless families. As well as providing residents with high quality, eco-friendly homes there will also be facilities for the local community. The area around Chapter Road has completely changed and I hope that the new residents will be very happy in their new homes. I would like to congratulate BHP’s Major Works Team and all those who have been involved in making this project such a success”.
In memory of the late Jayaben Desai who fought for the rights of her fellow workers, a plaque has been placed on the development which marks the site of her struggle. Mr Desai, the husband of Jayaben Desai attended the ceremony and said: “The homes are lovely and Mrs Desai would have been very happy that this site has been put to good use to help the community and provide homes for people who need them. She was a unique lady and I am overwhelmed by her being remembered at this event today and the plaque in her memory – this is one of the best honours that could have been given to her”.