Tenants who were told they were being evicted on Christmas Eve were able to breathe a sigh of relief this weekend after it was confirmed that Andium had agreed to buy Spencer Lodge and Spencer Close to save them from losing their homes.
All tenants at the St. Saviour estate received a notice letter asking them to vacate their home by 31 March 2022 on 24 December 2021.
While those on fixed-term tenancies were later told they would be able to stay in their homes until the end of their lease, the others were expected to vacate their properties at the stated date.
But with only a few weeks left, Andium Homes confirmed Columbia Estates had accepted its formal offer to purchase both Spencer Lodge and Spencer Close in St. Saviour.
“When the news broke about the residents at Spencer Close and Spencer Lodge being given three months’ notice just before Christmas, Andium agreed to step in to see whether we could buy the entire building and save the tenants from losing their homes," Andium Homes Chief Executive, Ian Gallichan said.
"We have been in discussions with Columbia Estates, who represent the owner, since late January and I am delighted that on Friday afternoon we were able to tell residents that our formal offer to buy the buildings has been accepted and that their tenure of their homes is secure. There is still some legal work to do but all being well we expect to complete the purchase in March.”
Pictured: Spencer Close is located on Beach Road. (Google Maps)
The Minister for Housing & Communities, Deputy Russell Labey, welcomed the news.
“I am extremely grateful to Ian Gallichan and his team at Andium for agreeing to enter into these negotiations and for achieving such a successful conclusion," he said. "I would also like to thank the owner of Spencer Close and Spencer Lodge for giving us the time and a first-refusal option so that we could arrive at this positive result. In this case, with the help and expertise of Andium, we’ve acted swiftly to provide Spencer Close and Spencer Lodge tenants with security."
Senator Sam Mézec, who visited the tenants on Boxing Day and arranged a meeting with housing support officers and others States Members shortly after, said he was delighted Andium had been able to step in and "provide security" for the residents of Spencer Close.
"This shows the positive role that our publicly-owned affordable housing provider can play in raising housing standards and providing greater affordability and security to tenants," he said.
"If we are to have any hope of resolving Jersey’s housing crisis, we must support Andium in the future to continue to expand its housing offer.”
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