Croydon made headlines on election night as housing minister Gavin Barwell lost the seat to Labour.
On the ground, housing goes on.
There, 340 households in the borough could get guaranteed cheaper rents if innovative council proposals for genuinely affordable homes are approved.
Eligible residents would pay just 65% of the typical private rent for 340 new properties being delivered on council land by housebuilder HUB, the council, and its development company Brick by Brick.
This means a two-bedroom privately rented flat in Croydon at £1,380 per month would cost £900 – making it affordable for people earning the minimum London living wage or on benefits. Tenants would also get a three-year contract instead of the usual six months with a private landlord.
To make this happen, the council is proposing an independent body provisionally called Croydon Homes to set affordable rent levels, boost housing supply and give priority to local people in most need. It would also save the council £1.4m on its temporary accommodation costs.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “Rents and demand for private homes in Croydon are continuing to rise out of people’s reach, so this council is taking action to guarantee genuinely affordable social rented housing for hundreds of local families.”
Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “Government cuts to council budgets mean we have to be more innovative with less money, and these proposals will make housing more affordable for both local tenants and the council for years to come.”
If cabinet approves the plans tomorrow (June 19) , the council will set up Croydon Homes later this year ready for when Brick by Brick starts building its first 151 affordable properties across the borough in 2018.
HUB’s 93 units will come as part of a 514-home redevelopment of the council’s former Taberner House site.
The council is currently using the remaining 96 properties as temporary accommodation.