Around 100 households now have longer tenancies after transferring to a new charitable partnership set up by Croydon Council to deliver affordable rental properties.
Croydon Affordable Homes (CAH) was set up last summer with the goal of renting out at least 340 local homes costing a maximum 65% of the usual private rent to borough residents by 2020.
Part one of this plan is complete, with 96 one-, two- and three-bedroom properties now having formally transferred from being council-owned temporary housing to becoming part of CAH. This gives the tenants longer tenancies, turning temporary accommodation into assured shorthold tenancies lasting between one and three years.
The 96 properties are a mix of houses and flats in areas including New Addington, Selhurst and Sanderstead. Rents have not gone up as a result of the deal, and a couple on housing benefit can afford the rent through the Local Housing Allowance.
The rest of the CAH homes – 244 out of 340 – will be delivered through agreements with private developers between 2018 and 2020 that will be part-funded by £30 million worth of Right To Buy house sales.
These homes will be built by Brick by Brick, the development company set up by Croydon Council, and Hub, the company leading the regeneration of the former Taberner House site in Croydon town centre.
Borrowing restrictions mean the council cannot fund these developments through its Housing Revenue Account, so the creation of CAH allows the same outcome of delivering affordable rented properties across the borough.
The council is also looking into buying a further 250 properties and transferring them to CAH, which would then repay the council by attracting external investors and using Right To Buy sales money.
Once the Hub and Brick by Brick phases are complete, a two-bedroom privately rented flat in Croydon at £1,380 per month will instead cost £900 through Croydon Affordable Homes. Tenants would also get a three-year contract instead of the usual six months with a private landlord.
The new charity that oversees the running of CAH with council support will allocate a minimum of £20,000 per year to good causes, with a focus on preventing homelessness and contributing towards affordable housing.
“This partnership is all about providing Croydon families with affordable rented homes and increasing the number being built across the borough. These first properties are Croydon Affordable Homes’s first step towards playing a major role in offering genuinely affordable local homes.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
For more information about Croydon Affordable Homes, visit the council website.