A GROUND-BREAKING housing development for veterans has been unveiled in London.
The development at Parry Court, Morden, was commissioned by the Haig Housing Trust at a cost of £1.4m and was opened by Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People.
The eight, one-bedroom homes in south west London are designed as transitional housing to assist Service leavers to settle into civilian life or help after a period of instability or unemployment.
General Nugee handed over the keys to the first completed property to Private Jordan Collings (REME), who was delighted to receive them in time for Christmas.
The Trust’s chief executive, Brigadier James Richardson, said: “The need for veterans’ housing is increasing and we are looking at ways to build or acquire more properties to help. Ideally, we would seek to do this nationally but we are constrained by the availability of sites.
“Using land we already own in Morden is the most sensible option for new homes and we now have plans to build a variety of additional homes on the estate for members of the ex-Service community including those who have been seriously injured.
“This will be a much-needed development and initiative. Haig has seen a 30 per cent increase in applications in just the last three years. In London and the south east demand is currently very high with at least eleven eligible people for every one house which might become available.”
Rents at the Morden properties will be set deliberately at less than sixty per cent of the normal open market rates in the area, offering affordability and stability for individuals establishing a new career and future.
The properties will be leased on a six-monthly basis for up to two years and the scheme is intended to act as a stepping stone for veterans who have either secured employment in the London area or who are expected to but who would otherwise not be able to afford to live there.
Haig has secured funding for the construction of these eight units plus a further 68 new homes on the Morden estate.
Brig Richardson added: “The need for veteran’s housing is increasing. We are always looking at innovative and alternative ways to increase the stock we can allocate to. One such project involves refurbishing long-term empty properties in Manchester, which was recently featured on the BBC’s DIY SOS: Homes for Veterans. We now have 18 homes there with as well as an office run by one of our charity partners, Walking With The Wounded.”