Coitbury House to be transformed into affordable accommodation
Winchester City Council is working with property guardian company LOWE to use a vacant building to create affordable accommodation for key workers and young people. Coitbury House, in the Central Winchester Regeneration area, will undergo an internal refurbishment to create short term residential units whilst plans for the regeneration of the site are in progress.
LOWE was founded in 2016 to ensure buildings that are currently empty and awaiting redevelopment can still be put to good use. The company adapts buildings for residential use and has a rigorous programme of property maintenance throughout occupation.
LOWE selects individuals to live in the property and act as guardians. A primary focus is in caring for the building, so there is a strict vetting process for potential guardians. LOWE has put in place regulations across all properties to ensure there is a comfortable environment for both guardians and neighbours. The initiative is targeted at local key workers who are helping to deliver essential services, such as health workers, teachers, social workers and care workers, as well as young people taking the first steps in employment.
Cllr Kelsie Learney, Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management said:
“Our plans to reinvigorate the Central Winchester Regeneration area are taking shape. We’re excited to see Coitbury House open its doors once more to offer much needed affordable accommodation to local people. This is something local people asked us to consider - it’s reflected in the Supplementary Planning Document that we created based on consultation with businesses and residents.
"We are delighted to welcome LOWE to the city centre and are also looking forward to the arrival of the guardians who will be able to move in early next year.
"There’s more on the way with more proposals for the Central Winchester Regeneration area set to be shared with the public in the coming months. We will see this area completely transformed with new places to live, work and play.”
Tim Lowe, at LOWE said:
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Winchester City Council to open up affordable housing opportunities for local key workers and young people in the heart of Winchester. At LOWE we believe guardianship offers a unique opportunity to provide affordable housing with social purpose. We have always prioritised key workers at our properties, and are keen to share this scheme with the Winchester community so we can give back to those who keep our communities safe and thriving.”