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Pioneering deal between London borough and housing association delivers "100% social housing" scheme

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Pioneering deal between London borough and housing association delivers "100% social housing" scheme

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

Pioneering deal between London borough and housing association delivers Pioneering deal between London borough and housing association delivers "100% social housing" scheme

A pioneering deal between Islington Council and Keniston Housing Association has resulted in a "100% social housing" scheme being built in the London borough.

Work is underway on 14 homes in Archway that will help house more than 50 people, including families currently living in overcrowded conditions.

In 2011 Keniston Housing Association were keen to start developing the site, but cuts in government funding meant they were unable to build all the homes for social rent.

Islington Council then stepped in by adding £820,000 of its New Homes Bonus money to unlock the scheme and to guarantee that all 14 homes would be for social rent. It is one of the first deals of its kind between a local council and a housing association.

The new homes will be a mix of one, two and three-bedroom properties, including one which has been especially adapted for a wheelchair user. To further help hard-pressed residents, the properties will have lower energy bills thanks to the development's solar panels, green roof and argon-filled double glazing.

The scheme makes use of an empty lower level car park of an existing block of flats, infilling it to create four additional properties.

Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development, said: "We desperately need more affordable housing in Islington. It’s vital for us that when new homes are built, their rents are kept down at genuinely-affordable levels.

"The government has cut the amount of money going into new affordable housing, meaning schemes with 100% social housing like the one on Junction Road got stuck.

"We were able to step in with extra funding to unlock the scheme – we have made sure it went ahead with a guarantee of all the homes being for social rent."

Nevil Osborne, chief executive of Keniston Housing Association, said: "I am delighted to be working in partnership with Islington Council to build these new homes for people in Islington."

All the new homes will be let to low-income families from Islington, with lifetime tenancies in keeping with the council's Tenancy Strategy.

Islington families will move into the new homes in mid-2014.

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