First sale for Hammersmith Housing Co

A hospital worker from Shepherds Bush is the first buyer of an affordable home built by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

Claire Ansbro was selected to buy a flat in the same block of the Becklow Gardens estate that she has lived in with her parents all her life.

At the start of the year, the one-bedroom flat was a derelict shell. Since then, it has been refurbished, the first of 26 to be constructed across the borough by a housing company set up by the council. All are to be sold at a discounted market rate so that people living or working in the borough can find a way to get onto the property ladder.

Clare said: “I registered with the council and when they told me the price it sounded like an absolute bargain and an opportunity of a lifetime.

“This really is a fantastic scheme from H&F council and it is great that they are trying to help first-time house buyers like me onto the property ladder. If it was not for this scheme I would still be living with my parents.”

Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said: “This borough has some of the most expensive house prices in Britain, yet one of the highest proportions of social housing in London. There is a very real sense of polarisation with very little housing in the middle that is affordable to buy, so purchasing a first home is nothing but a pipe-dream for most residents.

“This council is committed to creating a low cost home ownership Borough of Housing Opportunity so that decent, hard-working local residents can have a realistic chance of owning their own homes. Claire fits the bill perfectly and I wish her many years of happiness in her new home.”

The housing company has also renovated the flat next door to Claire’s and has agreed to sell it to a 36 year-old train driver who has also been looking to buy his own home for several years.

H&F Council says it is on track to have helped 1,000 people into low-cost home ownership by 2013.

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