Image - lbrut-queens-house-opening

Twenty nine new shared ownership and sixteen affordable rented properties were officially opened yesterday in Twickenham town centre.

The development is called Queens House, on Holly Road in Twickenham. Thanks to £550,000 of additional support from the Council, the building was purchased by Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA) and transformed into modern, high quality, low cost homes to buy targeted at local residents and workers on middle to low incomes. The much needed affordable rent homes will be offered to those with an urgent priority for low cost rented housing including those needing to transfer from existing social housing.

The empty office block has been converted into a 100% affordable housing scheme, made up of one and two bedroom apartments for affordable rent (including 3 duplexes and 5 wheelchair adaptable apartments). There are also 29 shared ownership properties, which will be sold by ‘So Resi’, the new brand of shared ownership properties owned by Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA).

Each apartment benefits from access to either the communal roof terrace or winter garden and meets the highest quality and space standards.

The new development was officially opened by Dr Vince Cable MP and the Mayor of Richmond upon Thames.

Cllr Liz Jaeger, Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, also attended the launch. She said:

“Well done TVHA! This is very good news for local people trying to get on the housing ladder and those in need of affordable rented housing. We are committed to supporting and working as closely as we can with our partner Housing Associations to deliver more excellent schemes of this nature.

“Together we are always looking at new approaches to increase supply and extend existing stock. This development is an example of the Council, working with TVHA, to identify a use for what has been a very underused building for a number of years.

“We need to look for more opportunities like this so we can meet the local need for affordable housing and I and my colleagues are committed to doing this on sites in our ownership, with our housing association partners and with private developers who must to much more in the way of delivering affordable housing. Otherwise we won’t be able to meet the housing needs for all local people - for our children and grandchildren.”

Chatinder Bal, Residential Development Director at Thames Valley Housing added:

“We’re delighted to have worked in partnership with Richmond Borough Council, the Greater London Authority, and Thomas Sinden to transform this under-used office block into some 29 high quality affordable homes for families while being able to offer social housing to 16 more households. There is an ongoing need for high quality homes in this part of London area and we hope to replicate this model elsewhere in the borough.”

‘So Resi’ is making home ownership possible for more people. Residents can buy a share of a home that’s right for them. Homeowners typically start off owning between 25% and 30% of a property and pay as little as 5% deposit on the value of the share. This means that the amount they need to save for a deposit is much lower than it would be if they bought the whole of the property.

Homebuyers pay straightforward monthly payments, which combine the mortgage on the share and a payment to TVHA as rent on the rest. Buyers who live and/or work in Richmond upon Thames will be prioritised.

For more information or to apply, go to:

— from a Richmond Council press release - 20 September 2018