Car park makes way for more new council homes

Mayor Biggs and Cllr Islam at Levitas House 002

Mayor Biggs and Cllr Islam at Levitas House

A former car park that was once a magnet for antisocial behaviour has been transformed into 24 new council homes in Stepney Green.

Levitas House, in Jubilee Street, is the latest development to be completed as part of our pledge to deliver 2,000 new council homes. It is the first of three sites due to be completed this summer, providing 77 new council homes between them.

The new development is named after the late Max Levitas, the veteran anti-fascist campaigner who took part in the Battle of Cable Street and died, aged 103, in 2018 He was a hero of the East End and lived in Tower Hamlets for much of his long life.  

Mayor John Biggs said: “I’m delighted we’ve delivered these new council homes which will provide much needed housing to people on our waiting list. They are part of our programme to deliver 2,000 new council homes and help our residents who are bearing the brunt of the housing crisis.

“These properties will have a transformational impact on the lives of those who move in and they are also a very fitting tribute to honour the memory of Max Levitas.

Levitas House will be managed by Tower Hamlets Homes. It will include larger flats that are suitable for families, each with its own outdoor space. Two of the flats have been designed specifically for families with disabilities and include wider hallways, space for wheelchairs, bespoke showers with safety equipment, light switches lower down the wall among other adaptions.

This is part of Project 120, a council initiative that brings together occupational health specialists with the housing team and the architects to make sure 10 per cent of the new council homes being built are designed to meet the specific needs of residents with disabilities.

The building boasts a very large play area with a climbing frame, swings, seesaws and trampolines as well as a sizeable open area. While it was built as part of the development and can be accessed directly from Levitas House, the playground can also be accessed separately for nearby residents to enjoy.

As part of the council’s local lettings plan, 25 per cent of the new homes will be allocated to residents of the surrounding estate who were on the housing register and in need of more suitable housing. 

Cllr Sirajul Islam, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Tower Hamlets is one of London’s most dense boroughs with limited space for new developments. We’ve had to be inventive in our approach by finding spaces, such as this car park, where we can provide much needed homes.

“When we build in the middle of existing estates it’s important to make sure the new development enhances the area. At Levitas House, we’re doing that by opening up the fantastic play area to the wider community. I’m sure the existing residents will enjoy the facilities just as much as their new neighbours will.”

Posted on Monday 3rd August 2020