A family of four have finally found a dream home in which to build their future – and become SimpliCity’s 100th household. SimpliCity is Notting Hill Housing’s newest kind of tenancy and supports working families who are struggling to find a quality, affordable home in London – those who are not eligible for social housing but can’t afford to rent or buy at market rates.
Lisa and Lee Thomas, along with sons Reeve, 11, and Eden, six, were one such family.
For the past six years they have been living with Lisa’s mother and stepfather in Streatham after leaving their rented home to save for a mortgage.
“We wanted to save for a house but it never happened,” said self-employed beautician Lisa, 34. “We never argued with my family, but we needed our own space as a family of four. We didn’t really want to rent privately as we didn’t want the instability of our landlord being able to just decide to throw us out. With SimpliCity, we know that as long as we are good tenants, we will be able to stay.”
Lisa found SimpliCity by fluke. She and Lee had been looking on Rightmove at places around south London and finally settled on searching in Croydon. Here they found a listing for a home they liked the look of, which was a SimpliCity home. They applied to check whether they were eligible and were then added to the list. They soon started receiving invitations to viewings.
“We saw five places,” says Lisa, “but this was the nicest. I knew as soon as I walked in here that I liked it.”
The Thomases expressed their interest in the three-bedroomed house in New Addington, and were overjoyed to hear they’d been successful, getting the keys at the start of August.
“The process was so easy. We heard back within 24 hours and then everything happened so quickly. This really is the best home we were ever going to get. Something like this on the open market would have been way too expensive. For the price we pay we could have got a one-bed flat where my mum lived, but instead we have this lovely house, with a decent sized garden, a big driveway, a beautiful kitchen, space for a dining table and a bedroom each for the boys.”
SimpliCity was launched last year as a pilot scheme called Notting Hill Community Housing. Originally covering Barking and Dagenham and Croydon, it has now extended to Enfield and Hillingdon and is proving incredibly popular.
“I’m not surprised,” Lisa said. “It’s so easy and the houses are brilliant. The service has been so great too – when we moved in our bathroom tap was trickling. I had a call back that afternoon and had someone there to repair it the following day.
“I’d recommend SimpliCity to anyone. In fact I’ve already spoken to my sister, whose family of three are living with in-laws. I’ve told her to apply for SimpliCity so maybe she’ll be living in one of these homes soon too.”
To find SimpliCity homes visit www.rightmove.com.