Aston Group and Waltham Forest Council are celebrating completion of the 50th home extension, part of a £60 million programme of improving living standards across all Council housing stock.
Councillor Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, visited the Leyton home of the Hobbs family, which is the 50th residence to be extended by the Council, working in partnership with Aston Group.
Robert and Linda Hobbs, and their two sons, were living in an overcrowded two bedroom home. The loft conversion has created a new bedroom and second bathroom.
Robert said: “It is absolutely brilliant. What the Council have done is made life easier for me and my family. It has given us more room, it’s like a different house.”
The shortage of larger, family homes is a challenge for many local authorities, including Waltham Forest.
Cllr Mitchell said: “This programme of loft conversions and extensions addresses a pressing need for families, providing them with the additional space they need to live comfortably and relieving their overcrowding.
“This is only part of our ambitious housing strategy. Alongside our plans to build new homes we are investing £60 million in improving our existing Council homes, including installing 1,200 new kitchens, 2,500 new bathrooms and 1,400 new central heating systems.”
Aston Group have developed a method to the extension works which minimises the disruption to the families during the conversions.
Dominic Woodford Construction Manager, Aston Group, said: “We are sympathetic to the resident’s needs. “We ensure that most of the work is carried out from the outside of properties, with only final breakthrough and service extensions requiring internal access during the final two weeks of work. This allows families to remain living in their homes throughout the construction process.”
As part of the works, fire and building safety standards in the properties are upgraded and insulation work completed to improve energy efficiency, providing safer and more energy-efficient homes.
As well as providing families with a refreshed, appropriately-sized property, the works have substantially added value to Waltham Forest’s housing stock, creating an approximate increase in the stock value to £6.4million on a project spend of £3.3million.
Reginald Martin, Project Manager at Waltham Forest said, “Having recently joined the team, I’m pleased to be celebrating this fantastic milestone with our partners Aston Group. I have been overjoyed to see the positive impact the work we are doing is having on the lives of our residents.
The proposed designs are not limited to solving an overcrowding issue – they consider the principles of the local character and distinctiveness of this Borough and are based upon an understanding and evaluation of its defining characteristics. In particular, the materials, colour, scale, and textures selected respect the character and heritage of the area. For these reasons, we believe that this and future projects will continue to make a positive contribution in Waltham Forest.
We are motivated to keep this valuable and much needed programme moving forward”.