First social housing in square mile since 1970s unveiled

Keys to the first social housing built in the Square Mile since the early seventies were handed over to their new tenants today at the Middlesex Street estate in the City of London.

The twenty-four flats, built by United House, are the first of eighty-five new homes the City of London Corporation is providing for Londoners across the capital over the next eighteen months, after investing £7.5million in the Middlesex Street development. In total the City Corporation aims to deliver 237 new homes by the end of 2016, which represents over 10% of its current housing stock.

The project includes an innovative community centre and library complex where the residents are able to enjoy modern IT facilities alongside traditional library services, and to take part in teaching and adult-education programmes like entrepreneurship and employment skills courses. There is also a multi-use community hall for youth activity clubs, health and fitness classes – including pilates, yoga, and circuit training – and a public advice and guidance service run by nearby Toynbee Hall.

The event, held at the estate’s Artisan Library, was hosted by the Reverend Dr Martin Dudley, Chairman of the City Corporation’s Community & Children’s Services Committee which commissioned the project.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Dudley, said:

“At a time when there is such a shortfall in the provision of housing nationally, this project demonstrates that the City Corporation is committed to providing innovative community projects and sustainable, well planned residential housing developments for London.”

Jeffrey Adams, Group Chief Executive of United House, said:

“Our creative approach to using under-used space to build new homes demonstrates how other local authorities could learn from the City of London. Empty shops, garages and dead space on housing estates have the potential to become much-needed new homes.”

The City of London Corporation provides 2,761 social housing properties for 1,889 residents across 11 estates – two within the Square Mile – and the other nine across a range of London boroughs. Around 872 have been bought and are lived in by leaseholders and some freeholders.