Affordable housing built by local people for local people could soon be coming to Croydon if a new pilot scheme is approved by the council next week.
A report going before Croydon Council’s cabinet seeks approval for a community-led scheme where the council invites local bids to develop affordable homes on up to five council-owned sites. Once built, the homes would be owned and managed by the community groups that developed them.
The council has already begun work with local groups such as the London Community Land Trust and Croydon Citizens to support their interest in creating a community land trust scheme for affordable housing in the borough. If cabinet approves the scheme on Monday 21 January, the council will encourage bids from existing local groups, including Croydon CLT and Norbury CLT.
Bidders who make a successful business case would get design and logistical support from Brick by Brick (BxB), the council-created developer that will complete its own first housing schemes early this year.
As well as offering professional advice on how locals can get involved, the council will also carry out initial due diligence checks on the five sites on bidders’ behalf, plus the community groups would receive construction support if their schemes receive planning permission.
Since being set up by the council in 2016, BxB has received planning consent for over 40 sites so far, providing 1,036 new homes. 498 of these (48%) are designated affordable. Of this 48%, around half will be genuinely affordable rent (maximum 65% of the private market rate), and the rest shared ownership. BxB’s first developments, at sites off Beulah Hill and Auckland Rise in Upper Norwood, will be completed early in 2019.
“Resident-led community housing is part of the wider solution to providing good homes in our borough that are affordable to all.
“This scheme would help residents and community groups shape the future of their local area and give them a chance to offer different housing options in Croydon alongside council-backed projects.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services