More Homes Waltham Forest is an innovative partnership scheme that leverages new funding streams to solve the problem of expensive and inadequate temporary and emergency accommodation in this London borough
This purchase-and-repair scheme leverages funds through a privately placed bond to purchase and refurbishes 365 homes for homeless individuals and families in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
The joint venture partnership has raised £88m to purchase 365 properties through the issuing of bonds.
The scheme lasts for 40 years, after which the homes will revert to the ownership of the Council, providing a sustainable source of housing for the area and giving long-term security to households in need.
In Waltham Forest, where more than £3.4 million is spent every year housing around 2300 families in bed and breakfast, hostel and other forms of temporary accommodation, the More Homes model provides an alternative, far more affordable,supply of housing that aims to significantly reduce these costs to the Council while allowing it to truly discharge its housing duty.
The result is a win-win with better homes and outcomes for families for less expenditure.
It is a great example of how Local Authorities can work successfully with partners, like Mears, to think outside the box when it comes to housing supply and to access new funding mechanisms to solve housing challenges in their communities.
Most importantly, it demonstrates how thinking differently can improve outcomes for vulnerable individuals and families who, without the scheme, would be left with no choice but to continue living in precarious, short-term and inappropriate housing.
Mears Living Managing Director, Jonathan Mallen-Beadle said:
“Our partnership with Waltham Forest improves and repurposes existing housing to provide better homes for individuals and families; all at a reduced cost to the public purse.
“The More Homes model is a great example of how partnership working could unlock new solutions to housing challenges in communities across the UK.”
Cllr Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, said:
“One of our main priorities as a Council is ensuring our residents have a safe, decent roof over their heads. I am delighted that our More Homes partnership with Mears, established in 2018, has already resulted in genuine success, with over 200 families successfully re-housed so far and another 100 expected to be given accommodation in 2021.
Vulnerable families are now living comfortably in decent, high-quality homes.This gives young people and children a stable environment in which to learn,develop, and reach their full potential. We are proud to be able to help provide the foundation on which people can build to make the very most of their life chances.
“More Homes is a genuinely progressive partnership that has been well managed and is demonstrating tangible benefits for both the Council and the residents of Waltham Forest”
Ciaran O’Shea,Business Development Director at Mears, said:
“We are incredibly proud of our‘More Homes Waltham Forest’ Joint Venture with the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The success of the Joint Venture is evident in the quality homes that we have provided to the Council and its residents.
“Mears and the London Borough of Waltham Forest have worked collaboratively and in true partnership throughout the COVID19 pandemic to house homeless individuals and families. I am so proud of what we have achieved working tirelessly together to provide much-needed homes throughout one of the most turbulent times our sector has ever faced.”