Camden Council has decided to launch its own housing company for people who don't earn vast amounts — but too much to qualify for social housing.
Camden Living will start off renting out 52 flats on the Maiden Lane Estate, currently being regenerated. The flats were originally earmarked for sale as shared ownership, but the council has acquired them for letting out at 'intermediate' rent.
Intermediate rent is around 60%-80% of the local market rate, and in London is available to households with an income of less than £66k a year. Camden is aiming at households earning between £30k and £40k a year.
A Centre for London report last year found that intermediate housing — which includes shared ownership — accounts for less than 2% of London's housing stock.
The leader of Camden Council, Councillor Sarah Hayward, said "new shared ownership homes are becoming increasingly unaffordable to residents due to continued increases in market value and the huge deposits now needed. By acquiring homes earmarked for private sale through the Community Investment Programme and letting them for intermediate level rents we are widening the rental offer available to our residents".
The council plans to use any rise in the value of its newly acquired assets to "generate more funding" (which we take to mean: use as collateral against loans) to fund new schools, homes and community facilities.