Families in Upper Norwood handed lifeline in bid to stave off eviction
Families who faced homelessness after police were going to evict them from their homes have been saved after Croydon Council bought the flats.
The Metropolitan Police are selling their flats in Southbank, Grange Road, in Upper Norwood which they had leased to the Crown Housing Association.
But last year they took control of the land as they want to dispose of the property.
Six families have already moved from the block and the three remaining families, one of who has lived there for more than 20 years, were faced with eviction and potentially homelessness.
The residents have campaigned vociferously to stay in the flats and it looks like their wish could be granted after Croydon Council agreed to purchase the nine flat property for a deal worth nearly £2m.
It means that the three remaining families will be given a stay of execution as Crown Housing had obtained court orders for eviction but have now postponed any action.
The council’s corporate services committee said the remaining tenants will be given new Council tenancies once the deal is completed.
The other vacant flats would be given to those who are waiting for housing on the council’s register.
Improvement works are also being lined up for the flats with new kitchens, bathrooms, floor covering and redecoration being required as a minimum as the council say they are in poor condition.
Tina Hussein, 57, who lives with her husband and granddaughter, has lived at Southbank for 20 years.
She said: "I do feel a bit relieved as we have worked really hard to get this far. It has been a difficult time for everyone but there is light at the end of the tunnell.
"Things still need to be finalised but the situation looks a lot better than it was."
Pat Ryan, who has campaigned on behalf of the families said he was staisfied with outcome.
He said: "The residents who have been living at Southbank have been living in fear of eviction for the past 12 months.
"This good news is satisfying especially as they have been campaigning for Croydon Council to purchase this building. I hope now that the housing department look sympathetically at their situation. They are model tenants."
A Croydon Council spokesman said: "This proposal will see nine new affordable good-sized family homes added to the council’s housing stock.
"Once the sale has been completed, we will begin the process of refurbishing the homes to bring them up to decent home standards, with new kitchens, bathrooms, floor coverings and redecoration."