Croydon looks to increase affordable homes requirement and start own housing development company

Out-Law News | 24 Sep 2014 | 5:04 pm | 1 min. read

Croydon Council is proposing to set up a company to invest in housing development in the borough, according to a report from local development and economic renewal initiative Develop Croydon.

According to the report, the Council has reached the limits of its borrowing through its housing revenue account, and is considering setting up a company to allow it to borrow more money and to build homes for which it would have control over rent and tenure, and which would be exempt from the 'right to buy' regime.

"Given the housing crisis in Croydon and the number of families needing a home to rent or buy, we have to explore every opportunity to boost supply," said the Council's cabinet member for homes and regeneration Alison Butler, according to the report.

"As a council we are committed to increasing housing supply across the borough and given the borrowing cap limiting the amount we can borrow to build new homes, we are keen to pursue other avenues such as the creation of a wholly-owned housing company," she said. "It would liberate the Council from the government-imposed HRA borrowing cap and mean that we could work with partners on our own to accelerate the building of homes for local residents."

The report follows the 'Live Croydon' housing seminar last week, at which Butler commented that the Council would set up a company "not only to develop our own housing projects but also to enable other projects to start".

The Council also intends to increase the minimum on-site affordable housing requirement for new developments in the borough, from 15% to 30%. According to a report produced for a meeting of the Council's cabinet on 15 September, the requirement was reviewed under the provisions of Croydon's Local Plan Strategic Policies document, and the increase was recommended to reflect the 16% increase in house prices in Greater London since 2009.

It is proposed that the requirement be applied to developments of ten homes or more that are located outside the Croydon Opportunity Area.