Homeless Residents Central Housing Group

Warehouse Converted For Homeless Residents

A derelict warehouse in Brent which sat empty for months has been converted into 13 properties that will accommodate homeless residents in the area.

The state-of-the-art homes in Narayan Mews in Willesden formerly lay empty for months with no real plans for transformation until Brent Council’s empty property team stepped in.

The now landlord of the 13 new homes, who wished to remain anonymous, said Brent’s empty property team convinced them to take the grant after initial hesitation.

“I had an emotional investment in these properties,” the landlord said. “I wanted quality tenants; people who would respect the property and treat each house as their own.

“Brent convinced me that their tenants do treat properties well and tend to remain for a longer duration.

“If I went private, I might have received more rent overall. But if you factor in the possible higher turnover of tenants, then I would have accrued some loss.”

All of the homes have underfloor heating and include modern appliances such as dishwashers and microwaves.

One of the homes has even been adapted with a video entry system and fire alarm with a personal vibrating alert to support a tenant with a hearing impairment.

Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Lead Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “Every empty home in our borough means one fewer family has a home to call their own. A safe home is the foundation for physical, mental and financial well-being.

“Property owners are usually keen to avoid their houses standing empty – not least because they pay higher council tax – and this is a great example of how the assistance available can make a difference.”

According to London Council’s there are over 530 homeless residents in Brent and 17,000 in London as a whole.

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