Abdus Saleh, once of London Rebuilding Society and now Empty Homes Manager at Cromwood Housing plc, has provided the following information about a funding package that can help local authorities and other social housing providers bring empties back into use.
Funding: key details
£2m from a social bank to bring back into use empty properties for the use of social housing. Typical nomination terms to the council will be 5-10 years or something bespoke but a minimum of 5 years.
The funding is specific to London Authorities at the moment.
The funding allows us to help administer empty properties stuck in probate or any other legal issues.
The funding can also be used to fund the refurbishment of derelict buildings (care homes, nursing homes, old schools, ware house, office etc.) that can be used for social housing including land with development potential.
This first tranche of funding may develop into a larger fund based on how quickly Cromwood can use the money.
Please note that we are registered with the HCA as a provider of social housing and work with the GLA wherever possible in terms of producing more social housing.
We are also registered with the FCA for the purpose of consumer buy-to-let activities which is the new regulation introduced last year for empty property owners that become "accidental landlords" through the refurbishment and subsequent let of their property.
We help by packaging a group of services that:
- Cover the cost of estate administration as part of overall loan borrowing through solicitors that work with us.
- Lend the required amount of money needed in conjunction with the council grant or lend the full amount needed for works completion.
- Appoint contractors from our panel, overseen by project manager to completion.
- Give the finished property to council for social housing.
The loan for this service gets repaid by the rental income generated from the tenancy with the council. The length of the term is determined by the loan amount, the rent level and whether or not the owner is seeking to keep some rent as his own income or dedicating 100% of the rent to repay the loan.
Cromwood has 3 main arms of operation:
1. Cromwood Housing
Working in partnership with local authorities by providing ready-to-let properties to the market for councils to use for social housing delivery. Manages landlords’ properties with local authorities to alleviate social housing through the provision of properties that can be used for temporary accommodation, nightly accommodation, bed and breakfast accommodation and private sector leasing arrangements.
2. Cromwood Development
Concentrates on projects to produce more affordable homes that can be used for social housing through new build opportunities including land developments, commercial property conversions and developments of old derelict buildings. Unlike most developers all our properties go back to the council through some form of lease arrangements.
3. Cromwood Social
Cromwood Social will concentrate on producing more homes through the resurrection of empty properties that can be used for social housing. It will work with homeowners and local councils to drive this forward. Where possible we will make use of empty properties grant funding as part of the overall financing of the refurbishment or acquisition.
Abdus Saleh, Empty Homes Manager
Tel: 020 8826 2800 (office) 07710 571940 (mobile)
I am currently seeking from councils or their associated partners nominations of properties that we can spend the money on. I would urge the council officers to contact me in the first instance to discuss the properties or ask me any further questions.
I am happy to discuss the specific funding details in terms of minimum and maximum loan amounts, interest rates and arrangement fees individually as they will vary from case to case with respect to end property being delivered.