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Cllrs Thorpe and Okereke visit Woodpecker Gardens
From L-R: Omojefe Agba, Pinnacle Lettings; Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of Greenwich Council; Richard Reynolds, Meridian Home Start Chair; Cllr Anthony Okereke, Member for Housing; Omotayo Garba, Woodpecker Gardens resident; Sophie Moore, Pinnacle Lettings

Published: Monday, 21st September 2020

Royal Greenwich is celebrating a partnership with Meridian Home Start which has now provided brand new homes for over 60 families and individuals previously on housing waiting lists.

The leader of Greenwich Council Cllr Danny Thorpe, Member for Housing Cllr Anthony Okereke, and Chair of Meridian Home Start Board, Richard Reynolds, marked the achievement by visiting residents at Woodpecker Gardens in Woolwich, a new 32 home Meridian development which includes four wheelchair-adapted properties. 

Each new home has its own front courtyard and terrace areas, and all are let to local families at discounted rates (on average a blended rate of 65% of the market rent) with priority given to those in overcrowded or unsatisfactory rented accommodation, key workers, those threatened with homelessness and those on the Council Housing register. 

Woodpecker Gardens joins another Meridian development at Jack’s Acre in Eltham, which provided 29 affordable homes, with a further two sites at Carnbrook Road, SE3, and Fletching Road, SE7, currently under construction. 

Observing social distancing rules, the councillors and Chair of Meridian Homes Start Board toured Woodpecker Gardens before being introduced to two of the residents who moved in recently, following “virtual viewings” arranged by Pinnacle lettings management to overcome the challenges posed by lockdown.

Woodpecker Gardens residents Mr Omotayo Garba and Rosemary Agu said “My family is very happy with the partnership between all parties – Meridian Homes Start & Greenwich Council in that it has helped us settle into a new home that is affordable, and provides tenancy security. This is one of the best things to happen in Greenwich” 

Other residents Mr and Mrs Tanase said “The event was great; my family are very happy with our new house, especially the internal lift. We thank the councillors, Meridian Homes & Pinnacle for visiting”. 

Member for Housing Cllr Anthony Okereke said “We’re extremely proud of the fact that our partnership with Meridian Home Start, which was set up by Royal Greenwich to overcome restrictions placed on council home building by central government, has successfully delivered 32 quality new homes for local residents. 

For our borough to thrive it is essential that key workers and those on modest incomes have access to affordable housing, and with an average rent of £870 for a two bedroom house Woodpecker Gardens fulfils this need. With this partnership and the 750 council homes due to be delivered by our Greenwich Builds programme the council are stepping in to provide much needed homes which will keep our community strong.” 

Leader of the Council Cllr Danny Thorpe said “It’s been so great to meet the residents at Woodpecker Gardens, and to see how the innovative model set up by Royal Greenwich with Meridian Home Start has paid dividends for local people. Rents being charged at 65% of market rate means that these high quality homes are within reach of ordinary Londoners, making good on our commitment to tackling the housing crisis. 

We’re looking forward to delivering many more of these homes both in partnership with Meridian and through our Greenwich Builds council home-building programme”.