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Former squat turned into shared ownership homes by social landlord

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Former squat turned into shared ownership homes by social landlord

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development

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Image: Housing via Shutterstock

A social landlord has transformed a former squat into four shared ownership apartments.

L&Q's asset management team de-converted the 10-bed hostel in Lambeth, formerly known as Ujima House, to create the new homes.

The hostel had once provided supported housing, but when it was decommissioned and the residents were re-housed the empty building became a magnet for anti-social behaviour and was taken over by squatters.

After L&Q took possession of the property from the squatters, it decided to keep the units and in September 2012 approval was granted to remodel the building to create the shared ownership flats.

Following a competitive tender, Power Builders, a small family-run business, were awarded the contract and started on site in May 2013.

Working closely with the project team throughout, the scheme completed in December and all four shared ownership flats exchanged and completed within one week after handover.

Joyce Onono, L&Q's head of asset management, said: “Although modest in scale, this project exemplifies how a previously underperforming asset can be improved to provide much needed affordable housing.

“If you are ever stuck with a property that is a ‘problem child’ speak to the Asset Management team and we might just be able to turn that into another high performing asset.”

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