A hundred families, most of whom were living in hostels and bed and breakfasts, have been put into their own homes thanks to a scheme to tackle Lewisham’s housing crisis.

Over the past two years, housing provider Lewisham Homes purchased four homes every month to house families in council houses who would otherwise be stuck without a place to call their own.

Working in partnership with the council, this meant around two per cent of all property sales in the borough were by Lewisham Homes.

Albana was one of the people who didn’t have her own home and lived in a hostel with her husband and three children.

She said: “We lived in a hostel for about a year. It was a tough time because my children had real trouble sleeping and we couldn’t settle.

“Where we’re living now is quiet and restful and all of us sleep so much better. It makes such a difference to our lives to have privacy and a bit of space. It already feels like home.”

One of the most common reasons for homelessness in Lewisham is private landlord evictions as a result of rent increases. Average rents in the borough have risen by 41 per cent since 2011.

Lewisham has seen the number of homeless households living in hostel and bed and breakfast type accommodation increase by nearly 50% over the last three years.

The 100 properties bought by Lewisham Homes will save the council around half a million pounds in nightly paid accommodation costs every year.

Ainsley Forbes, Lewisham Homes board chairman said: “We see first-hand the stressful impact which living in unsuitable accommodation has on children and families.

“To hear about Albana’s experience and see how much happier her family is now that they have a home, highlights just how important finding ways to create more council homes in Lewisham.”