Lewisham scraps homes sell-off

In response to a question from Cllr Johnson, Lewisham Council officers have confirmed that a planned sell-off of Council-owned homes in the borough has been cancelled. Here's the Q&A:

Question

Could you update me on any change in approach regarding the disposal of Lewisham Homes properties, since my question to the 29th February Council meeting and the answer I received then?

Answer

It remains the Council’s policy not to dispose of any land or property without considering all the possible options for retention. Our response in February of this year highlighted a small number of properties that were being considered for sale. These were identified by an independent survey that concluded it was not economically viable to retain them due to the high cost of the repairs required to bring them up to Decent Homes standards and the lack of appropriate funding to support these works.

However, with the changes in April 2012 to the housing finance framework, new funding opportunities were made available. In addition, other changes coming from the housing and welfare reforms will have a substantial impact on housing needs and supply and the downturn in the economy is making home ownership more difficult for local residents. Hence a report was presented to Mayor & Cabinet on the 30th May 2012 to reconsider the earlier decision to sell these properties in the light of these changes.

The decision was made by the Mayor & Cabinet to retain these properties. Work is underway to look at how we can maximise the opportunities both for housing for local residents in housing need waiting to move but also to investigate opportunities to link with local training and employment schemes to bring these properties back into use.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can anyone fill in the background to this? Are these the properties which Lewisham People Before Profit have been occupying, arguing that 'the community' can keep them in good repair? What were the changes in April 2012 to the housing finance framework which opened up new funding opportunities? Is there any published research on whether properties are best maintained by (1) 'the community', (2) social landlords, (3) owner occupiers doing their DIY, or (4) private sector landlords?

Is anyone active on Brockley Central involved in the LPBP Housing conference mooted for this September?

Tim Lund

Anonymous said...

Correct option (3) to ' owner occupiers doing their DIY or paying tradesmen to do any repairs'

Anonymous said...

The house being occupied on Albyn Road still looks like a squat and hasn't had any discernible work done on it. Had it been sold, someone would have spent some money on it and turned it into a nice family home. Annoying.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where the best discussion of this will be, so I've also posted much the same on my local forum in Sydenham - http://sydenham.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8093

Tim

Anonymous said...

LPBP have regular meetings open to the public, if you need to know their position on this issue then go along to a meeting - any discussion - certainly on this blog - will result in misinformation regarding the true facts as far as LPBP are concerned.

Welcome to 2012 said...

Great attitude.

If you're worried about facts being misrepresented, why don't you just post "the facts" yourself here, now.

Then they can't be misrepresented.

But they could be scrutinised. Oh, I see.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to go to a PBP meeting. What they are doing, based on the evidence of the house I walk past every day, is depriving someone of a home. They are 'occupying' (ie squatting in) a house that otherwise would have been put to good use. I can't see any evidence of anything worthwhile being done with it. There has been a sofa in the front garden ever since they moved in and the house is dirty and unkempt. I for one can't wait for them to be booted out so that something useful and worthwhile can be done with it.

BrockleyKate said...

Is this a reference to the planned stock transfer (to a housing association), or to piecemeal disposals of stock on the open market?

Brockley Nick said...

@BK - I think this relates to the piecemeal sell-offs.

Anonymous said...

More house for middle class crusties!

Anonymous said...

What's class got to do with it? Surely the issue for Lewisham is to increase the supply of decent quality homes at minimum cost in terms of expenditure which could otherwise go on all the other important things that the Council does - education, adult social care, libraries, parks, retired staff pensions, etc. etc.

If new housing units are to be occupied by the middle-classes, then they will have moved out of somewhere, which will either have not been 'middle-class', or if it was will now have to find a new occupant - presumably not difficult if it's a nice middle class house - who will either not be middle class - so new housing will have been found directly for someone from the working class (I'm assuming here that we don't have that many aristos in Lewisham), or else indirectly, in that the new middle class occupier will in turn have moved out of somewhere else - and so on until a previously middle class property has slipped down the social scale.

If this all sounds ridiculous, then it is, because the basic issue is housing supply, and class should have nothing to do with the question.

I fear we have too many people whose heighted sense of class consciousness has led them to absurdity.

Tim

Anonymous said...

I think it's entirely wrong that the (soon to be criminal) actions of LPBP have been rewarded by Lewisham's Mayor.

The house in Albyn Road has long been in a state of disrepair and looks even worse since it was squatted.

I'm not impressed.

BrockleyKate said...

Thanks Nick. I haven't seen any coverage of piecemeal sell-offs before, do you (or Darren) have any more info on what exactly they are, and where?

Ian said...

I think that we'll see a lot more squatting in the coming years as many people will struggle to find affordable housing. Hats of to LPBP for changing the blinkered minds in the Mayors office. We need more affora
dable housing not less. S

Anonymous said...

Well, they're doing a good job of making the Albyn Rd house 'affordable'. In fact, if they were allowed to carry on the way they're going, it might one day be worthless.

Anonymous said...

Complain to the council at its failure to sell off the next time you are irritated about cuts.

Their desire to avoid selling to those can afford the houses - presumably educated professionals - smacks of an attempt to avoid an influx of those voters.

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