A town hall is to loan up to £5million to a housing assocation to buy properties on the local housing market to help alleviate the pressures of homelessness and lack of affordable social housing.
The loan from Lewisham council was agreed at a meeting of Lewisham’s Mayor and cabinet on June 26.
The properties will be used by Lewisham Homes as temporary accommodation and refugee resettlement housing and will be let at local housing allowance (LHA) rates, which are affordable under current benefit levels.
Councillor Paul Bell, cabinet member for housing, said: “As the housing crisis continues and more and more people find themselves homeless, it’s vital that we look at different ways of increasing the supply of affordable homes – temporary and permanent.
This loan is a part of our wider strategy to do just that.” As well as being used for temporary accommodation, the new properties will also provide housing to refugee families resettling in the borough as part of the Lewisham’s refugee resettlement programme.
Earlier this year the council committed to welcoming a further 100 refugee families in addition to the 17 families previously resettled in Lewisham, and becoming a borough of sanctuary.
Purchasing additional properties through this loan reflects two of the Council’s priorities: tackling the housing crisis and being an open borough, which includes becoming a borough of sanctuary.