Acton Gardens Regeneration
Feedback from Acton Gardens demonstrates how LOWE can support local Councils whilst offering superior guardian experience.
Feedback taken from Acton Gardens highlights how LOWE can effectively support Local Councils; provide safe, secure affordable housing; whilst also providing a great experience for guardians.
Located in West London, Acton Gardens is a 52-acre regeneration project with 3,400 new homes currently being built in partnership with Ealing Council, Countryside and L&Q. Over time, residents have been relocated from buildings earmarked for demolition to new accommodation, which has led to vacancies across the estate.
LOWE has been supporting Ealing Council since July 2017 to provide short term affordable housing for local key workers and young professionals working in the borough. Not only has this utilised otherwise vacant flats, but it has also helped keep the buildings secure.
Barwick House, a property that would otherwise be vacant, has been home to around 50 young professionals and key workers. The guardians not only keep the property secure and provide a deterrent for anti-social behaviour, they also add a sense of community to the estate.
Leon Smith a regeneration manager, commented on the partnership with LOWE: “Not only has LOWE saved us on significant security costs, the social value of having responsible property guardians living in the estate has been enormous. The flexible nature of their legal agreements fits perfectly with our ongoing plans for regenerating Acton Gardens with quality, affordable homes. We are especially proud to be housing key workers from the surrounding areas.”
Benefits for the property guardians were highlighted in the feedback too. Christie, a guardian from Barwick House, commented on how guardian living had changed her life on a daily basis “We’ve had the freedom to really make the flat our own. Being able to paint and decorate was great! We make the flat our sanctuary, a place that can feel more like a home.”
Guardian schemes also have the advantage of providing accommodation in unaffordable locations. Luke praised the local area:
“Richmond Park is so close, as well as Kew Gardens. There are also some great pubs in Acton Town such as the George & Dragon, as well as the W3 Gallery with a graffiti giraffe.”
Jamie, a junior doctor, commented on the specific relationship with LOWE: “We researched many guardian companies and LOWE seemed like the best. The general company ethos is great. So we contacted LOWE with an email about ourselves, and why we would like to be a part of the guardianship scheme with them.”
In 2019 in London, many young people are being crippled by extortionate rent and one guardian at Barwick House commented on the freedom that the guardianship provided:
“Before I was a guardian, I would stress out on having to find work in various different jobs that I didn’t enjoy and were not progressing my career, just to make sure my rent was paid. Being a guardian has taken that pressure away and actually for the first time, has allowed me to relax. Speaking on behalf of the other two guardians I live with, they feel the same. We all work in demanding jobs and all of us have been able to invest further towards our goals and make necessary transitions which is now furthering our careers. I work long hours so having a flat close to where I work has made a big difference.”
Tim Lowe, Founder of LOWE commented on the feedback from both LOWE guardians and the Council. “It’s so rewarding to get this kind of feedback from our guardians and it just goes to show the difference we can make to young people’s lives when guardian schemes are done properly.
He continued: “At the same time, it’s great that we can support local communities with ambitious projects. Acton Gardens is a fantastic regeneration project and the fact that we can provide security, and that our guardians can make such a difference to the local community is fantastic. ”