Planners approve Britain’s ‘first female-only tower block’ in London for victims of abuse and pay gap inequality – but admit biological men who ‘identify as women’ can also apply
- The 102 flats which are to be rented to single women are to be built in London
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Britain’s ‘first women’s-only tower block’, which will offer affordable housing to disadvantaged women, has been approved by planners, while the landlord has also revealed it will also be open to biological males who identify as women.
The 102 flats are to be rented to single women and built in west London by Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPH), an association founded in 1920 as part of the suffragette movement.
Every affordable home will be designed specifically for women – from deep balconies, to potentially slightly lower kitchen work surfaces and careful attention to ventilation to help menopausal women, said the landlord.
The 15-storey tower in Ealing aims to home women who face inequality, abuse and disadvantages in the housing market, according to The Guardian, with men only able to rent the properties if they are the adult child of a female tenant and inherit the tenancy, or if they are the partner of a current tenant.
Additionally transgender women, including people intending to undergo gender reassignment, will be allowed to rent in the tower block, explained the publication.
Britain’s ‘first women’s-only tower block’ has been approved by planners – and there’s just one way a man can become a tenant
On the other hand transgender men, men who cross-dress and anyone with a known history of male violence against women or children will not be eligible to rent a property.
As the development was approved, some Twitter users expressed their anger at what they believed were ‘sexist’ plans.
One person wrote on Twitter: ‘Isn’t that sexist? If it was an “all men’s club” it would be hammered by the woke brigade, so why is it different the other way around?’
Another said: ‘This is pure and simple discrimination.’
Some Twitter users took issue with the announcement that transgender women would be eligible to apply to become tenants.
One said: ‘So transgender men who are female are not allowed but transgender women who are male are….kind of defeats the object.’
Twitter users were divided over the plans with some taking issue with the detail that transgender women could apply to be tenants while others branded the whole thing ‘sexist’
However, many people thought the plans were a good idea and praised developers for making it happen.
One Twitter user said the idea was a ‘nice sentiment’ – although he took issue with what he thought looked like a ‘hideous’ building.
WPH’s Chief Executive Tracey Downie said the development – which will include one and two-bed flats – would be home to women who ‘have been unable to afford good affordable housing themselves because of their level of income or vulnerability’.
It is said that tenants will likely include victims of domestic violence and full-time mothers relying on income from a partner from whom they are now separated.
Ms Downie added: ‘We try to build in desirable locations where people can feel safe – Ealing is a leafy suburb.’
The building – which is currently just a five-story tower, located at Brook House – will reportedly triple in height to accommodate the new homes.
A woman who was previously a homeless student 20 years ago before finding a home in a current WPH property on the site said the ‘benefit is security’.
‘We’re not dealing with different types of people moving up and down [the stairs] all the time. I feel comfortable because I am around women only,’ she told the publication.
The 102 flats are to be rented to single women and built in west London by Women’s Pioneer Housing (WPH), an association founded in 1920 as part of the suffragette movement
However, the project – developed in partnership with L&Q, one of London’s largest housing associations – isn’t without its controversies.
Some current tenants are set to spend years living elsewhere before moving back to the tower. Worse, some are thought to not be able to return because their households will then be too large.
The publication reported that several legal cases are under way, emerging from disagreements over rehousing, according to the residents.
Some locals argued the large group of women ‘will put the women at risk’ and that ‘single women would find a high-rise very unpleasant’.
Secretary of the Mill Hill Park Residents’ Association, Corinna Stowell, told MyLondon: ‘While we support the aims of the WPH association and recognise the need for the redevelopment, as the existing accommodation does not meet today’s required standards, we are concerned about the massing and the height of the proposed building, and particularly its 15-storey section.
‘Although the proposed development would have little visual impact on the Mill Hill Park Conservation Area itself, we believe it would have a significant adverse visual effect on both Gunnersbury Lane and the area surrounding Acton Town Tube Station.’
However, some residents also shared their support for the plans, according to the local publication,
One said: ‘The proposal seeks to provide 100 light and spacious homes for those who need it.
‘I am aware that life circumstances can change in an instant, so the plan to offer 100 women renewed lives has to be good.’
WPH is reportedly planning to build another low-rise women’s only development in Shepherd’s Bush, in west London.
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