Two privately-owned Croydon properties left derelict for a combined 30 years are set to become homes for council tenants thanks to major renovation works.
The three-bedroom home in Coulsdon and four-bedroom house in Purley have now been renovated and extended to become one large four-bedroom and four two-bedroom properties.
The Purley house, in Foxley Lane, had been empty since 2002 when the owner emigrated to Brazil. Following complaints from neighbours about vandalism, broken windows and doors and fly-tipping, in 2013 the council began negotiations with the owner to get the property done up and then transferred to council control.
Now, as a result of a council-funded £100,000 refurbishment, the property is now due to be home to four households moving from council temporary accommodation within the coming weeks.
The Coulsdon house in Chaldon Way had been empty since 2001, and over the next decade it developed major problems such as collapsed floors, dry rot, electrical faults and a rat infestation, plus overgrown gardens. After three years of complex negotiation with the council, last year the owner agreed to allow the property to be renovated by a council-approved registered social housing provider, Cromwood Social.
Now the house has been extended to become a four-bed property that will be let to a family in council temporary accommodation. The renovation was made possible by a combination of a £25,000 council grant and a £145,000 loan from Cromwood, which will be repaid over the next 10 years through rental income.
Abdus Saleh, project manager at Cromwood Social, said: “We are constantly exploring unique and innovative opportunities to work closely with London councils with a view to providing bespoke housing solutions. The recent property refurbishment in Chaldon Way, Coulsdon, epitomises this approach.
“We believe resurrecting empty properties around London could provide a valuable source of new homes for councils. Cromwood Social has recently launched a £2.5m Empty Property Resurrection Fund for our projects across the country, which is testament to this belief.”
“Every empty Croydon home brought back into use allows more households to move into better-quality accommodation, and it’s great that council staff’s work over several years will now benefit local families in need.
“I’m especially pleased that we have teamed up with a socially-conscious third party housing company to help our investment in refurbishing empty Croydon homes, and we will continue to explore as many ways as possible to increase the supply of much-needed housing in the borough.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services