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Are lock-ups the key to solving London’s housing crisis?

Building new homes in place of unused council garages could create 22,000 more apartments in the capital, claims website

Nigel Lewis

London’s housing crisis could be eased if the capital’s 22,000 unused lock up garages were to be turned into 16,000 one-bedroom flats, it has been claimed.

Property crowdfunding platform Property Partner canvassed London’s 32 London boroughs to find out how many lock-up garages each one owned, and how many of them were rented out.

It found that there are 53,640 lock-ups in the capital but that 41% of them are either empty or in a state of disrepair.

The boroughs with the largest property of empty lock-ups include Ealing (74%), Havering (72%), Brent (71% and Enfield ((70%) which between them have over 6,000 garages lying idle.

Property Partner says the unused garages were sold and the land given over to developers, some 16, 100 one-bedroom 500 sq ft apartments could be built in their place, and if multi-storey blocks built in their place instead, 64,000 flats built.

The London assembly recently said London needs between 49,000 and 80,000 extra homes built every year to keep up with demand.

“When we have a crisis in affordable housing not just in the capital but in the UK, it begs the question whether councils in Britain should either sell off the land for development or build new homes themselves,” says Dan Gandesh, CEO of Property Partner (pictured).

“If a significant number of council garages, which are part of housing estates, are not even rented to those who should have a right to them – local authority tenants – then it could be argued that this is a wasted opportunity.”

January 16, 2017

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