Hertsmere Living, a new joint venture set up by Hertsmere Borough Council and Watford Community Housing, has announced the completion of its first development of affordable homes.
Plans to create a stockholding joint venture company in partnership with Clarendon Living Limited, a subsidiary of Watford Community Housing, were given the green light by Hertsmere Borough Councillors at a Full Council meeting in February 2022. The new company, named Hertsmere Living Ltd, aims to help address the housing affordability crisis in Hertsmere by ensuring homes go to those most in need.
A number of homes under construction by Hertsmere Borough Council will be transferred to the joint venture company, with the council retaining nomination rights over those properties in perpetuity. Sites across the borough have also been earmarked for potential future development through the joint venture, with the newly formed company aspiring to deliver affordable homes for local people through a 50/50 partnership.
Representatives from Hertsmere Borough Council and Watford Community Housing gathered on Friday 12 May to mark the completion of Hertsmere Living’s first development. Situated in Radlett,the development at Fairfield Close offers seven homes for social rent, helping to address the need for high-quality housing at affordable rates.
Typically available at roughly half the cost of an equivalent open-market property, social rent properties are highly sought after. Comprising of three one-bedroom and four two-bedroom flats, the development offers modern accommodation, as well as one parking space for each home.
By working together, the two organisations will be able to access additional sources of funding for new homes and make more effective use of their land, helping to enhance Hertsmere’s housing infrastructure by delivering modern purpose-built homes. The day-to-day management of homes delivered through the joint venture will be overseen by Watford Community Housing.
Sajida Bijle, Managing Director of Hertsmere Borough Council, said: “We’re pleased to have set up the new stockholding joint venture company with Clarendon Living Limited and will be delighted to welcome tenants to their new home. It's a new start for both of us!
“The council is a non-stock holding authority, which means we cannot retain ownership of properties that we have developed to meet local housing needs. However, we have maintained our strategic housing responsibilities and continue to act as the enabler for affordable housing. As an equal partner in a joint venture company, we retain nomination rights over those properties in perpetuity and we can ensure they are always allocated to households that we have identified are in most need.
“The main purpose of this initiative is to help people, who would otherwise not be able to afford it, secure quality, affordable housing for the long-term. We do what we can to address local housing need, through our relationships with registered housing providers and engaging with developers, this initiative will enable us to do more."
Speaking on the new joint venture, Tina Barnard, Chief Executive of Watford Community Housing, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing this joint venture alongside the completion of such a fantastic set of social rent properties at Fairfield Close. We have a strong track record of delivering through partnerships such as this with key local authorities, because they provide real benefit to the community and enable us to accomplish more, in a shorter space of time. We’re looking forward to a long and prosperous working relationship with the council that will bear fruit for the Hertsmere community.”
A report went to Hertsmere Borough Council’s Executive group on 11 January. To find out more, please visit: Agenda for Executive on Wednesday, 11 January 2023, 6.00 pm (moderngov.co.uk)
Posted on Tuesday 16th May 2023