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Scheme to create homes for care leavers

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 September 2019

The council is proposing to lease properties in Royal Parade, Woodward Road and Gale Street to Habitat for Humanity. Picture: Google

The council is proposing to lease properties in Royal Parade, Woodward Road and Gale Street to Habitat for Humanity. Picture: Google

Archant

Plans to let several "dilapidated and hazardous" council flats to a charity which will refurbish them for care leavers will be decided on tonight, Tuesday, September 17.

Barking and Dagenham Council is proposing to lease properties in Royal Parade, Woodward Road and Gale Street to Habitat for Humanity (HfH), an international organisation that fights poverty housing.

The flats are part of the council's general fund commercial portfolio and have been deemed too costly to refurbish by the local authority.

"The council owns several dilapidated flats above shops which are in a hazardous condition and are incapable of being commercially let," a cabinet report states.

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"Returning the upper units back to use would require a capital investment deemed prohibitive but without significant funding they will remain wasting and depreciating assets causing neighbourhood blight."

Under the proposal, HfH will invest £665,472 in refurbishing the units to a "high-level specification" agreed with Barking and Dagenham's children's services.

The children's services department will appoint an agent to manage the units and HfH will recoup the refurbishment costs through rents, if the plans are approved at the meeting on Tuesday.

They are expected to provided homes for 11 care leavers at risk of becoming homeless.

"Without this upfront investment the units will deteriorate further and become structural liabilities," the council stated.

"This proposal ensures restoration of the assets, while providing 11 bed spaces and mitigating the threat of homelessness for vulnerable care leavers coming through the system for at least 15 years."

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