Virtual Viewings Become the New Normal
Residents have begun moving into Woodpecker Gardens, a new development in Greenwich, south east London, built under a partnership between Meridian Home Start and Pinnacle Group.
Meridian Home Start, a Community Benefit Society set up by the Royal Borough of Greenwich to develop affordable homes for rent, took handover of the site on 1June 2020, with Pinnacle providing lettings and management services to 32 affordable homes.
Reflecting current COVID-19 restrictions, Pinnacle’s letting team have worked to offer virtual showings of the properties and engaged remotely with applicants to let the units in Charlton, London.
The Meridian Home Start development, which includes four adapted houses, provides affordable housing to local families at discounted rates, on average 65 per cent of the market rent.
Each house has its own front courtyard and terrace areas. There are also 12 onsite parking spaces with four accessible spaces for the adapted properties.
Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Anthony Okereke, comments: "We're proud that Meridian Home Start, which was set up by the Council to access previously unavailable funding streams, has delivered another high-quality and affordable housing scheme for local working families. Tackling the housing crisis is a top priority for the Council, and we are delivering on that commitment through both Meridian Home Start schemes and our Greenwich Builds programme, which will see 750 new council homes created across the borough."
Richard Reynolds, Chair of Meridian Home Start, says: "The team at Meridian Home Start are delighted to be handing over at Woodpecker Gardens, our second low rise housing development in Partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This is a very real milestone in our 600 unit development programme with a further two schemes already on site at Farmbank SE9 and Duke Court SE8 with more to follow, one in Woolwich and one adjacent to Falconwood Station.
"As the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Local Housing Company, our sole task is to provide a continuous supply of much needed well designed good quality affordable rented homes for local residents in housing need in the Royal Borough of Greenwich for many years to come."
Sophie Moore, Head of Operations, PRS at Pinnacle Group, adds: "We have been extremely proud to assist with the move-in process and allocation of affordable homes to applicants. In such challenging times we have seen impressive amounts of patience and resilience from all applicants who have progressed their applications remotely with our team. We have been able to offer virtual viewings and have successfully moved-in tenants in a phased manner to put the tenants at ease and minimise risk to those moving in and our staff.
The site handover was straightforward, and the finished site is beautifully presented. We look forward to continuing to welcome people to Sandpit Place throughout the course of the month and will ensure we are on hand throughout the process."
Oliver Miller, Group Head of Build to Rent, PRS at Pinnacle Group, also adds: "We are delighted to be working in close partnership with Meridian Homes Start to deliver services across the Royal Borough of Greenwich. We are excited for the opportunity to deliver first-class services to an increasing number of families as Meridian’s provision of affordable homes in the Borough grows in the coming years."