Residents Perplexed as 'Beautiful' Houses Remain Unoccupied

Most of affordable development in Grove Park still empty after six months

The houses on Loraine Road. Picture: Tom Lindsay

Residents of the Grove Park area have expressed surprised that a row of ‘beautiful’ affordable houses in their area have remained unoccupied for so long.

The twenty-two and three Victorian houses on Loraine Road, which runs parallel to Strand on the Green, were refurbished by Hounslow Council with the work apparently finished at the end of last year. There are twenty homes 14 of which are available at social rents and 6 on a shared ownership basis.

Tom Lindsay says he that he has observed the properties as he walks his children to school two or three times a week and was perplexed that nobody was moving in. He added, ”I find it incredibly frustrating and sad that we have a social housing crisis currently, yet these wonderful houses have been sitting empty for months and months.”

He wrote to the council earlier this year and was told that the delay in families being moved into the homes was due to the properties not being handed over to the council by the contractor by the end of March and there had been issues with connecting them to utilities. However, three months later Mr Lindsay reported that there was still no sign of occupation or of any work being undertaken at the site with the ‘beautiful’ houses appearing ready for people to move in to.

The council told Mr Lindsay that its lettings team has been matching the properties to prospective tenants on its housing waiting list in accordance with its allocations policy and the first tenants were due to move in.

When we asked Hounslow Council for comment, a spokesperson told us that seven of the social rent properties were now occupied with the other seven of these houses already allocated to new tenants. Applications for the six shared ownership properties are currently being processed. These three-bedroom houses are being offered in partnership with Milestone and are available for eligible households living or working within the borough. Shared ownership allows you to purchase part of a home, while paying a reduced level of affordable rent on the rest of the property that’s owned by a social landlord.

Work on the houses was finished at the end of last year
Work on the houses was finished at the end of last year. Picture: Tom Lindsay

Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Housing Management and Homelessness, said, “Like many other London boroughs, Hounslow is facing an acute housing shortage. We are committed to building more homes for residents and Lorraine Road illustrates our steadfast commitment to increase affordable housing. The homes in this development were completed and ready for occupation in May.”


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July 24, 2022