One hundred families have been placed in council housing as part of the council’s effort to tackle the housing crisis, which has forced many into hostels and guesthouses.
The families were placed in homes purchased by Lewisham Homes, a not-for-profit entity which is accountable to the council and tasked to manage council housing.
Lewisham Homes said it purchased an average of four properties a month in the past two years, with these purchases accounting for almost two percent of property sales in Lewisham.
A total of 300 new homes will also be built next year, with 100 being built as soon as possible using the same pop-up method used to build Lewisham Council’s award-winning PLACE/Ladywell village, it said.
The Council will start to build 500 new council homes by May 2018.
Lewisham Homes said the renting of private residential property in the borough rose by 41 per cent in the last six years, forcing nearly 50 per cent of families who cannot afford rent into “unsuitable accommodation” in the past three years.
Ainsley Forbes, Lewisham Homes Board Chair, said: “We see first-hand the stressful impact which living in unsuitable accommodation has on children and families.”
Among them is Albana, who, with her husband and three children, were housed in a new council home this summer after a year in a hostel.
“Where we’re living now is quiet and restful and all of us sleep so much better. It makes such a difference to our lives to have privacy and a bit of space,” she said.
Lewisham Homes said the newly bought council homes will save the council half a million pounds in alternative accommodation costs every year.