New council homes ‘change lives for the better’

Community Projects  |  17 January 2019

Their property was built as part of the council’s small sites strategy which aims to bring smaller sites – such as old garages, run down properties, gap sites and parcels of land not usually attractive to developers – in to use for new council homes.

The family moved in around a year ago but this week, wrote to the officers who helped them with ensuring the property met their needs, to thank them.

The letter said: “This letter is just to say a massive thank you to you for helping our family. Your hard work and kind hearts has improved our lives and our health massively.

“As you know the old house we were in was not fit for a family like us to live in, it was too small for my husband and there was barely enough space for him to turn around in or get around in his wheelchair without struggling and constantly catching his fingers in the door ways.

“It was damp causing us to have asthma attacks and constant chest infections. My husband found it hard to get access to the garden. Then with a lot of hard work you got us this wonderful home a brand new build to suit all our needs and we are very grateful to you for changing all our lives for the better.

“My husband can get around so easily without hurting himself in every room as we have so much space, it’s amazing. He can access the garden and you generally can't get him out of it no matter the weather; he loves being outside with us.

“Both my son’s and my asthma has improved dramatically and so have the infections. We have the perfect home and it is all thanks to you, Slough Council for giving it to us and we think you are the most wonderful people for helping us and continuing to help us still.”

In 2016, the council identified 25 small development sites to be used for building new, and extending existing, council homes. In total, more than 120 new properties will be built.

In January 2017, work started on four sites in Wexham and in August 2017 on an additional six sites in Britwell and Northborough. In May 2018 work started on six more sites across the town and in December the largest phase started with six more sites bringing 36 new properties.

Several of the properties being built have been designed to be disability friendly for disabled tenants on the housing waiting list. 

Councillor Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing, said: “Receiving a letter like this, as well as making our day, shows how important these small sites are for the people on the housing waiting list.

“By utilising these small sites through our partnership Slough Urban Renewal, we can bring new properties for people most in need of a council home – and by working with our disabled tenants, we can provide properties which are designed around their needs now and in the future.

“Unlike many areas, Slough is building homes and not just homes but council homes and we will continue to prioritise the building of homes for our community.”