Council to buy 13 “unsold” homes it built in Walthamstow

Waltham Forest Council is to buy 13 “unsold” flats built by its own housing development company.

In December last year, the council’s wholly-owned housebuilding company Sixty Bricks completed 83 flats at the Jazz Yard in Brunner Road, Walthamstow.

Sixty Bricks managed to sell many of the 46 private market homes, but still has 13 unsold one-bed flats on the market for about £430,000 each.

Today, Waltham Forest’s cabinet agreed to buy the remaining 13 homes at about £415,000 each, for sale through the shared-ownership scheme.

Cabinet member for housing and regeneration Ahsan Khan said: “Throughout recent years we’ve maintained a strong sales performance, but unfortunately due to market conditions in recent months, primarily around interest rates and the cancelling of the help to buy scheme, we have seen private sales not go as well as we wanted.”

A report to cabinet said the £5.4million purchase will ensure Sixty Bricks is “able to pay off its debt” by an October 2023 deadline.

The council is confident that the flats will sell more easily under the shared-ownership scheme as they are affordable to households with an annual income of about £40,000 per year.

It will buy the homes through its ring-fenced housing revenue account using £1.6m in income from other shared-ownership sales, £2.1 from right to buy sales and £1.6m in borrowing.

Overall, this will increase the share of “affordable” homes in the Jazz Yard to 60 per cent.

The council has already bought 20 of the flats for its social housing stock, with a further 17 under the shared-ownership scheme.

Sixty Bricks has reached the end of its first phase of housebuilding, delivering 299 homes, more than 60 per cent of which are for social rent.

Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter