Candy snaps up childhood home

A mum-of-two has moved into her dream home thanks to Notting Hill Housing’s new scheme providing affordable homes to working families.

Candy moved into her home in New Addington last year thanks to SimpliCity – which provides homes at discounted rents to families who cannot easily access social housing but cannot afford suitable properties on the open market.

But this was no normal move for Candy – as she was returning to the home where she grew up as a child.

“We moved out when I was 17, and when I passed by and saw the house was being renovated I was desperate to find out who owned it. I pestered the builders and eventually found out it was going to be rented out by SimpliCity, and submitted my application as soon as I could.

“The process was simple really, but I wanted this house so much. I took a look at the property, sent an email to say I wanted it and then just had to pass the eligibility. Any other house and it would have been stress-free.

“My parents couldn’t believe it when they came here. It’s changed a bit but we’re all over the moon. The icing on the cake was getting the kids into Fairchildes School, where I went as a child. I’m now doing a childcare course there and am hoping to get a teaching assistant job.

“Most people with children won’t have two full-time incomes so I didn’t think I’d be able to move out of our old flat, which had no central heating and some damp, until I was back at work. This has been a lifesaver.

“I’d recommend SimpliCity to anyone – and already have told my family and friends all about it. You can get long tenancies here too, and that security is really important when you have children.”

SimpliCity purchases homes on the open market, usually in a run-down condition, and refurbishes them to a high standard. The homes are let on the open market but reserved for working households on incomes of less than £60,000. Tenants can choose a one, three or five-year tenancy.

Candy’s story was so inspiring that she was visited by by NHH Chief Executive Kate Davies and Minister for Housing, Planning and London Gavin Barwell MP.

Mr Barwell, who was also shown an empty property elsewhere in New Addington to see the high standard of refurbishment, said: “It’s fantastic to see the work SimpliCity and those at Notting Hill Housing are doing to provide affordable housing in my community for people who wouldn’t get allocated a council home.

“I hope they will provide a lot more in the future.”