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North London residents to build their own futures

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North London residents to build their own futures


Published by Anonymous for Circle in Housing and also in Communities, Education

A group of tenants in north London who were frustrated by long waiting lists for new affordable housing are taking matters into their own hands – by helping to build their own homes.

Despite having no previous experience of building, local residents approached Circle Housing about taking on a self build scheme and it was agreed that they would help to convert over 50 disused garages in to 10 high spec affordable homes in Waltham Forest.

Nine families will attend classes at Waltham Forest College twice a week for the next four months to learn a range of practical skills from joinery to painting and decorating.

Local resident John Struthers, 45, has three children and lives in a two bedroom home. He first approached Circle Housing after being told that he would have to wait over ten years for a three bedroom property.  John, who is the group leader, said: “We are all working really hard and are giving up at least 20 hours a week of our free time to make this happen. It is very challenging but anybody could do the same if they put their mind to it. We are all focused on the end result – which will be a brand new home, which will change our lives. ”

Luke Chandler, Development Manager for Circle Housing said: “Self build can be immensely empowering for residents as it can give them the ultimate sense of pride in where they live. This group of residents have already shown tremendous dedication by sacrificing much of their free time. They have also shown a great willingness to learn new skills, which will be invaluable to them not just on this scheme but for the rest of their lives.”

The garages at Penrhyn Grove, which have become a haunt for anti social behaviour, are expected to be demolished shortly.

The scheme will be completed by the end of 2014 and residents will be on site by the summer once the structural building work is completed by local firm Kind & Company. The residents will be responsible for the internal aspects of the homes such as fitting out the kitchens and putting in tiling and skirting boards. 



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