A Home for Christmas! Orchard & Shipman Affordable Housing Breakthrough

It must be the best Christmas present ever! After a number of years of moving from one temporary home to another, a mother and her two children, have moved into a beautifully refurbished 3-bed house, courtesy of a joint venture between Bromley Council and Orchard & Shipman.

Orchard & Shipman’s, Director of Operations, Michelle Bowler, said: “Providing this home, especially just before Christmas was one of those gold dust moments that make our jobs so worthwhile.”

The Joint venture is funded by both the Pension Insurance Corporation (PIC) and Bromley Council and has been created to purchase over 260 properties to provide affordable rented homes for families and individuals currently living in temporary accommodation. Funding was provided in August and purchases have been agreed on 149 homes. This means the £86 million project is well on target to acquire more than 260 properties for affordable housing by May 2022.

Michelle Bowler added: “The insecurity of temporary accommodation and misery of homelessness is proven to result in poor outcomes for health, education and general welfare. This initiative not only saves the Council and the tax payer money, but it also breaks the cycle of homelessness and gives people hope for the future and the opportunity to put down roots and build those social networks that we all need.”

Orchard & Shipman are responsible for sourcing, buying and then managing the properties on a fully insuring and repairing basis for 50 years after which ownership will revert to Bromley Council. These properties will be returned at no cost to the local authority.

The scheme provides for individuals and families to register for short and long term tenancies and for shared ownership and a chance to get on the property ladder, instead of having to rely on uncertain temporary or emergency accommodation.

One of the unique aspects of this project is the way PIC worked with the Council and Orchard & Shipman to ensure that the funding had the structure and flexibility needed to match the requirements of this project. Max Cawthorn, Senior Investment Manager at PIC said, “We are proud of the work we do with Local Authorities and Registered Providers and often, what makes sense for society can also help us to achieve our purpose, of paying the pensions of our policyholders. This has been an amazing and very worthwhile project to work on.”
The partners in the scheme have also acknowledged Revenue and Capital for their expertise in sourcing the participants and helping provide the structure that made this project a success.