A new community group is aiming to combat the housing shortage in the town by providing homes for needy residents.

OUR Croydon, who label themselves as a community interest company, are housing residents so they are not forced out of the area.

They have re-housed five families since Christmas and are now looking for more empty property owners to take part in the scheme.

The company secured a grant to renovate empty homes in Croydon to bring them up to a good standard and create affordable homes for those that need them.

OUR Croydon have found hundreds of empty homes in the borough and are now trying to get in contact with the owners to tell them funding is available.

Over the next year, they hope to bring 22 empty homes in Croydon back into use for social housing.

Laura Mumford, Project Co-ordinator at the group, said: "Many properties in Croydon have sat unused for years, because the landlords don’t have the cash to bring them up to the housing standards they need to meet.

"Sometimes properties have been inherited in a bad state and people just don’t know what to do with them."

She added: "But these grants mean landlords can get up to £22,000 worth of renovation work done for free, so long as they’ll rent the property out at affordable rents to those most in need in our community."