A disused communal area at a block of flats in Kemp Town has been transformed to create three new council homes, as part of an innovative project by the Labour administration on Brighton & Hove City Council.
Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, officially opened the new flats at St James' House in High Street.
The homes, on the ground floor of St James' House, will provide much needed affordable rented accommodation for people on the city’s housing register. They consist of a one bedroom flat, a two bedroom flat and a three bedroom flat. St James' House, a 1960s high rise council-owned building, already has 120 existing flats.
The new flats are the first in a project aiming to convert redundant spaces in council owned properties to provide extra homes – typically on the ground floor of high-rise blocks, such as former caretaker’s rooms or storage areas.
They are in addition to new council homes already being provided under the council’s New Homes for Neighbourhoods programme, which is aiming to build at least 500 new council homes by 2020.
Cllr Meadows said: “We are being creative in how we can provide more council homes, whether it is by converting part of an existing building, or building new homes on pockets of little-used council land.
“These new flats are a great example of how an empty space can be given a completely new lease of life. The communal area at St James’ House had fallen into disuse over the years, now it will be home to three households.”