Over 70 families have moved into their brand new council homes in the latest £22m phase of Croydon’s ambitious programme to increase the supply of affordable social rented properties.
The 74 most recently built flats, family houses and bungalows have been funded with the help of a £2.2m grant from the Greater London Authority through the Mayor’s 2011-15 Affordable Housing Programme.
Most of the new properties are two-bed to four-bedroom houses, with 10% of them fully adapted for people in wheelchairs or tenants with other disabilities. Of the 74 new households, 34 had been homeless. The latest new-build council properties are in Fieldway ward, Coulsdon East, Shirley, New Addington, Heathfield, Kenley, Waddon, Bensham Manor and Broad Green.
The council is currently drawing up an expanded programme of more than 700 new homes on around 50 sites across the borough by 2019. Details will be announced later this year, and this next phase will be a mixture of council and private properties.
Future development will be paid for from a range of investment sources designed to ensure the programme comes at minimal cost to local taxpayers. These include the New Homes Bonus and contributions from private developers.
The council also has plans for larger developments to be complemented by new community centres, leisure facilities and shops, as well as other major regeneration schemes like College Green and the former Taberner House site.
The project is being managed by the council’s own development company, Brick by Brick Croydon Limited, which has been set up to allow hundreds of families to be moved into more affordable and comfortable new-build homes. Smaller homes are also being built to allow people to downsize to more manageable homes, therefore freeing up family accommodation.
“These latest new council homes show our commitment to delivering on our exciting plans to develop hundreds more affordable and market-rate properties in the near future.
“I’m particularly pleased that every new council property we build takes another family off our waiting list. This gets people out of unsuitable or temporary accommodation and lets them start to build a new life with the assurance of a council tenancy.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “I’ve prioritised new investment to help regenerate Croydon and the £2.2m of City Hall funding for this programme will help build the new affordable homes that the area so urgently needs.
“With a brand new Westfield shopping centre on the way and one of the capital’s fastest growing tech clusters, Croydon is becoming one of London’s most vibrant town centres as well as a major driver of the London economy.”
The latest scheme to be completed and let by the council is a mixed development of modern town houses and flats on the site of the former job centre in Fieldway, New Addington, featuring solar panels and other energy-efficient measures designed to reduce household bills.
Percy and Peggy Gray (see photograph above) moved from their former council maisonette in New Addington because they were downsizing from a three-bedroom property and wanted somewhere to retire to.
They now have a two-bedroom bungalow in Waddon with an en-suite spare room that can be used as a carer’s studio if needed in future.
Mr Gray, 63, said: “It’s great – it’s everything we ever wanted. It’s the right location, quiet and with a garden all the way around it. I said I wanted to stay with the council and we didn’t want to be in private accommodation because I felt it isn’t guaranteed.”
Mrs Gray, a former school chef, said: “Where we lived before for 22 years we brought our kids up, and then we wanted to move away to start a new life; thanks to Croydon Council we got this. At the end of the day, we’re really happy here.”