Go-ahead for council’s affordable homes company
A new housing company to be owned by Haringey Council has been given the go-ahead, paving the way for more council homes in the borough.
The new Wholly Owned Company will ramp up the delivery of quality new-build council-owned homes, with a particular focus on providing homes for the more than 9,000 families on the council’s housing register, including 3,000 homeless households in temporary accommodation.
Haringey’s Cabinet agreed to set up the Wholly Owned Company. It came as Cabinet also decided not to proceed with the Haringey Development Vehicle.
The aim of the Wholly Owned Company is to increase significantly the supply of housing in the borough, particularly on council-owned land. These will be mixed tenure housing developments, but the primary aim will be to maximise council-owned housing, let at council rents and managed by Homes for Haringey. Any surpluses made by the sales of, and rents from, the market homes will be used to deliver additional council-owned homes.
Initially the Wholly Owned Company will look at the possibilities for three medium-sized sites – the former Cranwood Care Home site in Muswell Hill, which encompasses eight homes on Woodside Avenue; Brunel Walk near Seven Sisters station; and unused land and the car park behind the Wood Green Civic Centre. It will then be looking to develop many more medium sized sites, usually between 10 and 150 homes, in council ownership all across the borough.
Over time, the Wholly Owned Company could also look to expand its role into larger developments and more complex schemes or into purchasing affordable housing being delivered by private developers.
A report will now be put together looking at the feasibility of these first sites, which will come back to Cabinet later in the year. This will be alongside a further set of decisions that are necessary to formally launch the company, such as the appointment of Company Directors and the publication of its Articles of Association.
Cllr Emina Ibrahim, Cabinet Member for Housing and Estate Renewal, said:
Across London there is a desperate need for affordable homes and nowhere is this more true than in Haringey. With more than 9,000 households on our housing register, we have to take decisive action. Providing good quality, affordable housing is at the very heart of this Cabinet’s vision and by setting up our own company, we are ensuring that we have the power and tools to deliver homes that are genuinely accessible to all. After nearly 40 years of being forced to leave social housing delivery to others, and to others who have failed to deliver the homes we need, the council is now getting back into the driving seat of housing supply.
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