Waltham Council buys back right to buy flats to house rough sleepers

Ten former council flats in Walthamstow bought through right-to-buy are being repurchased by Waltham Forest Council to house rough sleepers.

The purchase, approved at a cabinet meeting this week, will cost £3million and be paid half by the council and half by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Rough sleepers who move into the flats will be allowed to stay there for up to two years before moving on, it is hoped, to support themselves independently.

At the meeting on Thursday, October 14, the council’s cabinet member for housing Louise Mitchell said the money would help “extremely vulnerable” residents.

She described a man she has known for four years through volunteering, who accepted support and is now hoping to move into long-term accommodation.

Cllr Mitchell added: “Nothing illustrates the value of the work we do better than that man’s story.”

The council’s Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme (RSAP) is also spending £472,000 to refurbish 23 sheltered housing units on Brookfield Avenue.

The units near Wood Street station belong to Notting Hill Genesis but have been leased to the council for the next decade.

Funding worth £590,000 has also been secured to employ six more full time council staff to support rough sleepers.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter