READING EAST MP Matt Rodda recently visited the new development of selfcontained temporary homes being built at Lowfield Road in Caversham, along with Reading Borough Council's Lead Member for Housing, Councillor John Ennis. The homes form part of a wider programme of new builds in the Reading borough.
Construction began on the project last Autumn, and comprises modular homes to form a 28-unit development providing housing for those in most serious need; in the current circumstances this will likely be families presently using temporary measures such as bed and breakfast accommodation. These new homes will provide a temporary safe space for families to live in whilst they look for a permanent home.
The development consists of seven blocks of four units, two storeys high, along with a children's play area, car parking, bike sheds and communal landscaping. Each accommodation unit is timber clad, contains two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen/diner and a living room; and is finished off with UPVC doors and windows.
Councillor Ennis said:
“I am really pleased to see this development progress and look forward to welcoming families to these new homes.”
“This development will reduce the number of those families requiring emergency accommodation being placed in bed and breakfasts, and provide them with a comfortable and well-equipped temporary home.”
Following a progress inspection of the site, Matt Rodda said:
“I am delighted to see this project come to fruition. Reading is a growing town and a combination of that growth with the severe cuts in central Government funding has helped to create what are extremely difficult circumstances in our housing market.”
“ There is a severe shortage of council housing, affordable homes to buy and good quality private rented accommodation in Reading, and I am campaigning for more housing. Labour would build 100,000 homes a year across the country to tackle this
crisis; these would be both council houses and homes to buy. Labour would also ensure a fairer deal for renters with a consumer rights revolution to improve standards, security and affordability for people who rent their homes from a private landlord.”
“Whilst we still have a long way to go, I am pleased to see these homes being built which I know will provide much better temporary accommodation with a higher level of quality and comfort for those families in severest need.”
Reading Borough Council originally had plans to build 1,000 new homes to begin to meet the rising need for accommodation in Reading. However, these plans had to be scrapped following the 2015 Autumn Budget delivered by the then Chancellor, George Osborne.
According to the Berkshire-wide Strategic Housing Market Assessment, Reading needs to deliver 699 homes per year, 406 of which need to be Affordable Homes in order to meet the housing need. This equates to over 12,000 homes over the period to 2036. The innovative Lowfield Road scheme is one of a number of projects the Council is implementing to tackle the housing crisis in Reading despite continued budget cuts from central Government.