Resident engagement officer, Rachel Bedford and Somerstown housing officer, Jonathan Coulson, stood in front of a housing court
Nearly 800 households across the south have a new landlord as of Monday 26 February, as Portsmouth City Council completed a major social housing purchase.

The acquisition, believed to be the largest tenanted social housing transfer of its kind, strengthens the council’s position as the largest registered social provider in Portsmouth and Havant.

The homes were sold to the council by Clarion Housing Group, as part of their long-term asset strategy. In total, 747 homes have been purchased as part of this phase.

New areas to the council

Most of the homes are situated in Portsmouth, with others in new areas for the council like Gosport, Fareham and Winchester. They also include shared ownership homes, a new type of housing for the council to manage. As part of the deal, one more batch of homes located in Portsmouth will be completed during the summer, meaning 818 homes will have been acquired in total.

Homes within areas outside of Portsmouth and Havant will continue to be allocated by their local authority, with the council working closely to ensure that tenants, shared owners and leaseholders continue to receive the highest standard of services.

Cllr Darren Sanders, Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness, said: “We’re so pleased to be able to welcome each and every new tenant joining us. This significant addition to our housing provision is a positive and forward thinking move to make sure the long-term security of our housing is secured. We have worked very hard to make the transition as seamless as possible and I hope all our new tenants will feel they have their voices heard and their needs met.”

The deal was first announced in November 2023 after the council went through a competitive tender process, which included talking to current Clarion residents and resulted in the council being selected as Clarion’s preferred bidder. The deal was also subject to approval from Full Council as well as Clarion’s board.

Before the purchase became official, the council hosted two ‘meet the landlord’ events jointly with Clarion to allow all new tenants to meet the team either in person or online. In addition, Clarion has conducted a resident consultation, visiting each property to answer questions and gather feedback from residents.

What happens next

Over the next two weeks, representatives from the council will visit all the homes purchased to meet the tenants and deliver a welcome pack. After this each tenant will have an appointment with their own housing officer to make sure they are fully informed about their rights as a council tenant.

The council already manages around 15,000 rented and 2000 leasehold homes across Portsmouth, Havant and Waterlooville.

Adding additional housing will support the council’s housing provision by increasing the social homes and affordable home ownership within its control, which is a core purpose of the local authority.

It also provides long term financial strength through increased revenue from the new homes. Nearly two thirds of the new stock has been built after 1980, which means it will last longer and cost less to maintain in the long term.