Islington (UK) shows how to regenerate & expand public housing without demolition

The Islington (Londoin, UK) Council and residents of one of its housing estates have agreed a plan to add 140 new homes to the site while knocking down hardly any of the old ones.

The King Square estate, standing at the edge of Islington that borders the City, may be in danger of investing the term “estate regeneration” with unaccustomed respectability. Built in the 1960s it presently comprises 470 homes, of which 376 stand on its main site between Central Street and Goswell Road. Early next year, work will begin on increasing the latter number by 140.

Unlike other schemes to “densify” or “upgrade” or “rebuild” council-owned estates in London that have proceeded in the face of fierce opposition and sometimes gone horribly wrong, this one envisages very little demolition of existing homes and enjoys substantial support from estate residents. The trick has been to involve them in the project from the start.

Of the 140 additional homes, 42 will now be for private sale and will help raise the funds for the wider scheme as well as the new school. Nearly all these will be in one block in one corner of the estate. Five other blocks will include 93 council homes for traditional social rent and, from the “intermediate” part of the “affordable” range, five shared ownership properties. One block will be specifically for older and vulnerable people.

See full article & photo credit in The Guardian.

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