How will the Comprehensive Spending Review redraw the Lewisham housing map?

Yesterday's Comprehensive Spending Review cut the budget for building affordable homes by approximately 50%. This, coupled with major reforms to the housing benefit system and massive cuts in central funding for Local Councils is likely to have a significant impact on the housing map in Brockley and Lewisham.

However, we find the subject completely bewildering, so please feel free to tell us what impact these changes are likely to have.


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

See Jenny Jones comments on The Guardian

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks and I can certainly believe that's the probable outcome - but would Lewisham import (as a relatively affordable borough) or export poverty (as an inner London borough), in this scenario? How many people will be forced to move? And will they move within Lewisham or elsewhere? What does all this mean for waiting lists, etc?

Graham said...

Some people were fearing 80% cuts so the 50% cuts have been viewed as positive and does mean that the HCA will be able to fulfill their current commitments so the affordable housing/regeneration and stock transfer schemes which are currently funded should be fine.

The rise in rents, needs to be fleshed out, but it will apply to new developments and new tenancies I understand. Without capital funding, this is the only alternative to ensure that some affordable housing is built in schemes with private housing.

The real area that needs to be explained is how these new rents will work with the Housing Benefit caps, in London. I think Housing Association's will be pragmatic in applying this because it is in their interest to keep non HB arrears down but still unlock some of the value in their stock to allow them to develop new homes.

Housing Associations in Lewisham are some of the strongest and best funded in London with L and Q, Hyde and Family Mosaic major players. So expect to see them taking a role in housing more of the "inbetweeners" in the Borough. (i.e. not social rented residents, but those that need help to purchase or raise a deposit) That said rents at 30% of market value, other than for those on existing tenancies look to be a thing of the past.

Matt-Z said...

I don't know what affect it will have on Lewisham - as Nick says we are something of an 'in-between' borough.

I do know that there is a surprising amount of social housing (council and housing association) in Brockley, both in and outside the conservation area, and not just the obvious GLA blocks like Syringe House. Much of the Victorian stock is carved up into council-let accommodation. The new policies will certainly lead to change on these roads as long-time council tenants are moved on (either downsized, or booted off council lists all together). Will they be able to stay in the borough or not?

I remember when cardboard city at Waterloo was still going (and embarrassing politicians). What chance a successor springs up in the next five years?

patrick1971 said...

Good to see some common sense (for a change) in the comments on that Guardian article. This pretty much sums it up: "To sum up, some people are effectively being given a pre-tax income of £77,000 for doing nothing, and people far poorer than that are paying for it through taxation. The chancellor claims this is unfair and you disagree. Right?<"

No one's paying any of us to live in central London. We moved to where we could afford.

Brockley Nick said...

@Patrick, while I agree on some levels, it does mean uprooting many people from their communities and their family homes.

Whilst it's true that those people who buy or rent their own homes at market prices have to move where their budget allows, they do at least have some freedom to choose where they go. Some of the people forced to move will be extremely vulnerable and will struggle to adapt to new surroundings, without local support networks.

Housing is a really difficult issue.

shrink the state said...

Good to see some common sense (for a change) in the comments on that Guardian article. This pretty much sums it up: "To sum up, some people are effectively being given a pre-tax income of £77,000 for doing nothing, and people far poorer than that are paying for it through taxation. The chancellor claims this is unfair and you disagree. Right?<"

No one's paying any of us to live in central London. We moved to where we could afford.

Just cutting and pasting Patrick's commetn, with which I totally agree.

How anyone can DISagree with the concept that working people are to encouraged and to be better off than those who don't, is beyond me.

I am also delighted to see the back of 500k public sector "workers" a.k.a. paper pushers and their pension schemes.

Brockley Nick said...

@Shrink the State - very enlightening, thanks.

shrink the state said...

@Patrick, while I agree on some levels, it does mean uprooting many people from their communities and their family homes.

Whilst it's true that those people who buy or rent their own homes at market prices have to move where their budget allows, they do at least have some freedom to choose where they go. Some of the people forced to move will be extremely vulnerable and will struggle to adapt to new surroundings, without local support networks.

Housing is a really difficult issue.

Nick, once people accept money from others, they have to accept restrictions and to do what they are damn well told. You know what? Some people MOVE and uproot their families to get work. Some parents commute really long distacnes to get a pitiful post tax and childcare pay, because they have pride and energy and guts. Why should those who don't work get anything in terms of housing? Most peopel would say shelter is a basic but start from zero provision and and work upwards. If you take help, be prepared for it not to include "central London near a tube and my mates".

It is not acceptable to live off the UK State (aka the working poor) any long, thank goodness.

patrick1971 said...

Take your point, Nick, but it just drives me mad when well-educated, liberal, upper middle class Guardian columnists start shrieking about "ethnic cleansing of the poor". The vast majority of people have to move to where they can afford, and one of the reasons people are so fed up with the housing benefit system in particular is because they see a small group of people freed from that necessity by huge payments. It just can't be right that people are paid more than the average wage just in housing benefit to keep them in Kensington. It just can't.

And (and I know this is going to make me sound like a totally heartless bastard) whenever I hear the word "vulnerable" alarm bells start to ring. It's become such a catch-all expression, but what does it actually mean? Mentally ill? Living alone? Poor (but in relation to whom)? Or does it mean someone who's lived in the same area for a long time? It's a bit of a catch-all.

Brockley Nick said...

"It is not acceptable to live off the UK State (aka the working poor) any long, thank goodness."

So if people are unable to find work (or incapable of it), they should just drop dead? And their children?

Look, I don't disagree that people who are in work shouldn't be worse-off than those who do not work. Nor do I deny that the benefits system leads to some undesirable outcomes.

But your arguments are cruel and facile.

patrick1971 said...

@Nick: "I don't disagree that people who are in work shouldn't be worse-off than those who do not work."

Agreed. And I think Osborne explicitly said this, didn't he? He definitely made some comment about it not being right that workers were paying taxes to pay people who didn't work higher "salaries" than the original worker (if that makes sense!), and that that was the philosophy that had underlined much of the welfare reform.

I think that's also what's annoying me about the tone of so much of the Guardian coverage. You'd think people were being flogged and sent out to sleep in the streets, rather than having to move to an area more suited to their means. I had an argument on another forum with someone who thought it was absolutely heinous that an under 35 year old claiming HB would be expected to live in shared accommodation rather than his/her own flat. Astounding. I lived in shared housing until I was 30, and many of my friends did so until 34/35.

Brockley Nick said...

Vulnerable means lots of the things you mention, yes.

Yesterday night, a guy who lives a few doors down from me asked me for help to write capital letters on his computer, so he could access his email. He didn't understand how to use a caps lock or a shift key and it took several attempts to explain it to him. I don't know his circumstances, but my guess is that he has learning difficulties and would struggle to find work. But his flat could be turned in to a fairly nice place for a working couple.

Should he be thrown out? Forced to live in a community where he doesn't have any access to help?

The questions get harder when you move from the abstract to the real. But reality has a well-known liberal bias.

patrick1971 said...

@Nick: "Forced to live in a community where he doesn't have any access to help?"

But again, what does that mean? That he should be housed in an area where there's a nice fellow down the road who can help him out? How do you ensure that? You can't make policy on that sort of anecdote. And the principle that someone not working shouldn't be better off than someone who is really needs to be the cornerstone of a safety-net welfare state, which is what we seem to want as a nation (c.f. Scandinavian models, where everyone's on some sort of welfare).

Although of course if you follow this principle to the letter you come up against the independently wealthy, who are arguably better off than people who are working... I'm sure a 500% tax on Peaches Geldof would be a great vote winner!

shrink the state said...

THose who CANNOT work are in a different category in my view (and that of the benefits system) than those who... you know...err just... don't errr whatever fancy getting up today.

THere are plenty of *unskilled jobs in London - why are people not moving here to take them? They should have to before any support is given.

It is time to start supporting those who deserve support.

* eg apparently, the entire workforce of Pret a Manger

Graham said...

Oh dear, this has turned into a rant off hasn't it.

Those in current social housing, will be ok - here is an excerpt from the CSR

‘Social landlords will be able to offer a growing proportion of new social tenants new intermediate rental contracts that are more flexible, at rent levels between current market and social rents.’

Lets not let a liberal desire to rubbish the CSR get in the way of facts. This will not affect current tenants.

What it does do, is unlock revenue to enable Housing Associations to fund new developments.

If people want to discuss this further and whether it means that more Mantle Road's will be build (in which I think the shared ownership will sell in seconds)I happy to, otherwise I more than happy to read some more generalisations.

Brockley Nick said...

@Patrick - usually, what people mean by this is not uprooting people from the places they have grown up, where they will still have some family or friends or support from a social worker who has been working with them for a long time and understands their needs. When these services are also being squeezed, people can fall between the gaps...

As for the independently wealthy - yes, if taxes have to fall anywhere, they should be on wealth rather than earnings. Unfortunately, our Government consists of Tories who want to get rid of inheritance tax and LibDems who want to replace Council Tax on property values with a local income tax, to put more of the burden on those in work...

Brockley Nick said...

@Graham, I appreciate your contributions, so please keep them coming. I'm not trying to rubbish the CSR, just challenge some of the lazy generalisations being thrown around.

Monkeyboy said...

@shrinkthestate..... "once people accept money from others, they have to accept restrictions and to do what they are damn well told" I'll leave that comment sitting there like a ripe turd.

Also existing benefits will only increase with CPI which I think explicitly does not include housing inflation? Great.

I don't know about anyone else but it seems obvious to me thet ghetos - whether based on rich and poor, race or class can only lead to those positions being reinforced. Great

As for the undesrving poor, hypothetically, if you've been working for years, paying taxes and national insurance and find yourself unemployed. Should you do as your damn well told?

Mr Shrinks bird brained (see other thread) analysis would make The Star blush. Poverty, or not, is as much about luck and circumstance as anythink else.

Anonymous said...

Just to clear up the vulnerability issue, Lewisham Council’s definition of a vulnerable person is anyone who is:
• is old and frail
• has learning or physical disabilities or difficulties
• has mental health problems
• cannot always take care of themselves or protect themselves without help.

Anonymous said...

so the cuts will not affect those groups in any way? super.....

Anonymous said...

Cat(rap)ford, seems an ideal location to "ring fence for social housing" and export too... and it seems the council have a shinny new shopping centre the Lewisham market, 99p and bettings shops can be moved into also!

Graham said...

Again, existing residents will not be affected and the HB caps are will generally not apply to those in council or housing association as these rents are so low anyway.

Affordable housing will be a challenge to provide in very high values areas, but even with the biggest funding settlement for affordable housing between 2008-11it was a massive challenge. The land economics of these sites are the problem, not some ideological drive.

Areas will not become ghettos or ring fenced for social housing. Housing associations are very innovative at providing affordable housing in a range of value areas. The CSR was really saying to them "ok then, we'll de-regulate a bit of what you do and we can't really afford to give you massive amount of cash, so use this to unlock the £15bn of capital expenditure you have budgeted for over the five years to build affordable housing".

It's quite innovative really, and require some form of trade off. So rushing in and seeing it as some kind of neo-liberal conspiracy is a poorly considered.

Graham said...

A bit like my spelling and grammar... Damn you typing and being on the phone!

Hermit said...

Depending who you are,you can bypass waiting lists.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe so many people get free houses in the UK, its hilarious. No wonder they dont bother working when they get a free flat/house in one of the most expensive cities in the world, free money from the Gov and then get paid for the more kids they have. Its brilliant here, I might just pack in my job and join them! What a great country!

max said...

It's a bewildering subject indeed, but please note the difference between "affordable homes" and "social housing".
It seems to me that affordable homes schemes have rather a lot in common with Thatcher's right to buy.

What's really needed are social housing for those that are actually poor and can't afford much at all and now live on housing benefits instad of a council flat or housing association flat therefore costing much more to the welfare system than if they had access to social housing.
And as much as we hear of people that thanks to housing allowances live where their support network is, there are also people that within the existing housing benefits system already have to move home every few months to cheaper and cheaper places every time the landlord of the day increases the rent.

Last consideration, it seems to me that both affordable housing and housing allowance may have a seerious inflationary on the cost of housing for everyone.

Lou Baker said...

I applaud the coalition government for trying to tackle benefits culture.

There is a part of society which is detached from
the rest. Where there is an expectation that you will get a council house. Where working is optional. These people need to be tackled head on.

Not least because they are effectively stealing
money from the poorest people in society. Those who genuinely can't work, those with learning difficulties, the frail, infirm and disabled get a rotten deal partly because so much of the country's huge welfare bill is spent in the wrong way.

It is scandalous, for example, that the rich should get winter fuel payments, free travel and the like. Child benefit
should never have been universal - and it should stop at 2 children. If you want more than that, you pay.

The whole system is totally messed up. Benefits should be a safety net to help society's least fortunate to help themselves. For far too many people they've actually become a lifestyle choice.

Anonymous said...

yes they all live in mansions and money to burn.

Anonymous said...

"cant believe so many people get free houses in the UK" Yes, if you loose your job, or can't find work you should try and find a roof over your head for free. The country would be much better off if we had 2 million people on the street. Look at Calcutta, it's brilliant there.

I'm proud that we look after the vunerable. Tipping people into the gutter is not the way to go, please grow up.

And Lou, stop with the the crocodile tears. You are the most selfish, ignorant man I've ever heard.

Anonymous said...

Funny how they suddenly try to address the Benefit problem now there is a recession,this has been going on for years.

bumbags said...

I don't think anyone disagrees with helping vulnerable people, but people do seem to fall on one side of this line or the other- people who look at what they are 'entitled' to from the government, and others who try to work hard to better their lot.
I have never had a high-paying job, but I would not accept money from the government on principle, unless I truly needed help. I would LOVE to live in Kensington, and can't afford to. The fact I'm paying taxes which support other people to live there is ludicrous. EVERYONE who pays tax should be outraged- especially the lower end of earners.
The government should be there to help people IN NEED of help. They could afford to do this much better if this culture of taking what you can stopped. £1000 a week cap in housing benefit?!?!?! Absolutely CRAZY it ever got to this level.

Anonymous said...

So how many get this grand a week? How many choose to live on £60 a week? Once again this assumption that theres a class of people living in clover. There will be some. Who can play the system, just as some like Philip green who play it from the other end. Bumbags, when your money runs out and you can't pay the mortgage don't expect much sympathy when your tipped into a b&b. It happens you know

Anonymous said...

I think some of those homeless people would love B&B.

Anonymous said...

Philip Green has done nothing illegal. Taking benefit you are not entitled to is.

Carys said...

Lou Baker said: "There is a part of society which is detached from the rest."

You're right. It's called the government.

Many of us see living in London as a privilege, having moved to the big city for whatever reason.

However, many people born here have grown up in poverty, extreme overcrowding and have been disadvantaged from day one. Not having to pay to live in a shitty overcrowded flat in a dodgy estate isn't the gift some people seem to think it is.

Tamsin said...

If public transport really were "public" free travel wouldn't be an issue. It would be something that as a matter of policy the benevolent state could supply to those who need or deserve it for minimal cash cost. How much extra did it actually cost London Transport to allow a freedom pass to pensioners given that it was at that time limited to off-peak travel?

The problem is that now that the franchises are let to private companies with squinty eyes on both the main chance and the bottom line the government are having to pay hand over fist to fulfil these promises. And so,understandably but regrettably, are baulking at the cost.

The rotten decisions were made two decades ago and there is very little that can be done about it now. All truly depressing.

bumbags said...

@anon Philip Green also creates hundreds of jobs, and pays an enormous amount in taxes.
There should be a cap on public money hand-outs- it is lower-earning workers that are subsidising people, which is wrong. A limit on housing benefit is fair. If you aren't working, you shouldn't expect to live in a nicer place than someone who is.
Also, why are you presuming I am a smug home-owner with a mortgage talking out of my behind? I can't afford to buy a property. I am in a low-cost privately rented flat in a nice, but cheap area. This is where I can afford. Why should some non-workers get to live in a nicer flat in a nicer area? ALSO, for the many hard-working people in high-rise council flats/estates etc this situation is even less fair. They work hard and pay tax to live in crowded conditions, while someone who is a bit more nifty at filling in forms gets a nice flat in a leafy street?! Even if only a few people are doing this, it shouldn't be allowed to happen.

Anonymous said...

So bumbags.... If and when your out of work, your savings dry up you'll do what? I'm happy for my taxes to pay you to retain some dignity and don't think you should be shipped out to a sink estate in thamesmead. Philip green pays a lot of taxes, he earns a lot of money. He should pay more, he evades it. Is tax evasion to be encouraged?

If the state gives you nothing or you stick to your "principles" and claim nothing you'll be living in a box.

Tim said...

Anonymous, when Bumbag is out of work, and his savings dry up he should take whatever job is available, and he should have been working hard at retraining in the interim. State support (benefits and housing) shouldn't be permanent.
People blame bankers for this economic crisis, and yes they made massive mistakes. But every single person who spent more than they could afford on a credit card, or who extended themselves by buying a place they can't really afford is also to blame. And Labour consistently fudged the "Golden Rule" year after year to spend more than the nation could afford. Ideological or not, these cuts are necessary. The nation just cannot afford anymore to have people getting free permanent housing in nice areas, and claiming benefits when there are jobs available (even if sh*tty). Benefits are a privilege, and people need to recognise that.

bubble said...

Kensingston (and other so called 'nice' areas) should house lower income people just as boroughs such as Lewisham have to.

I don't think ghettoes of rich people are particularly good for society any more than poor ones are. Bubbles cause trouble when they burst.

Tim said...

Why? I just don't understand why someone on benefits should get that flat in Kensington, when the council could rent or sell it privately, and earn good money to recycle into less desirable housing elsewhere.
Ghettos of rich people (which are extremely this country) are generally low crime, high tax paying areas, which strikes me as a pretty good thing.

Tim said...

*extremely rare in this country

max said...

"Ghettos of rich people (which are extremely this country) are generally low crime, high tax paying areas, which strikes me as a pretty good thing."

It's not the ghettos of rich people the problem, it's those of poor people that we should avoid.

bumbags said...

@anon- Tim is spot on. I would not expect long-term handouts unless I was physically unable to work. Emergency State help should be available for people who lose their jobs.
Not working should not make you better off than working. That seems a pretty obvious thing to say. Unemployment causes many social problems, and mental health issues, and we should absolutely give people who are out of work opportunities for free training and more support in finding work.
But I personally KNOW people who are the opposite of me- that they should milk the system for what they can. Many justify it by pointing the finger at rich people, at inequality, and imagining it's nasty rich bankers that are paying the bill. It isn't. It's all the millions of low-paid workers, and it's not fair.
If Philip Green is avoiding paying tax, he shouldn't be. The point I was making was that he is also generating a lot of wealth, and creating employment for thousands.

Anonymous said...

"Benefits are a privilege, and people need to recognise that."

For every very rich person paying to support benefit scroungers, there are 1000s of much poorer ones. There are bus drivers, guys working in the print room of your and my office, security guards etc, all with a wife and two children to support, in addition to contribing to the welfare state.

It is the hard working poor who we must support, partly because they deserve it and partly because if we don't help them, they will fall down and become part of our underclass of the nonworking poor.

Anonymous said...

Bumbags, stupid name.... Appropriate really. The undeserving poor is a convenient cliche for someone who dosnt give a shit. Wht if if you have no savings and there are no jobs? In your world, you sink. No health care, no pension, no free education.... Jobseekers allowance is 65 quid a week. Now you can't pay a market rent and feed yourself out of that, how about we kill them? Either that or they will be sleeping on the street or breaking into your house. See how it works?

Sting said...

Im an Englishman, im a legal Englishman im an Englishman living in New Cross.

Anonymous said...

Anon, 2227, There are 1000s of unskilled jobs in London, currently held by foreign students/similar. If they can do these jobs, the Brits can too. Instead, the bus driver/similar income level is currently paying tax to cover their welfare bills.

max said...

I'm sorry, this is all rotten talk, you have fallen in to the trap set by the News of the World and are blaming "the undeserving poor" instead of thinking about the lack of an economic policy to deliver more jobs.

The vast majority of jobless indeed want to work and deserve opportunities to match their potential.
The argument that one should take any job is only valid for people without qualification and nothing to lose, just about every person that have careers and qualifications and a grown up cash flow if suffering temporary unemployment cannot afford to be paid the minimum wage without going bust not long after.

We were discussing housing policies, and we have a housing market that for most is inaccessible, a social housing stock that doesn't grow, a skilled workforce of the constraction industry that's inactive and no policy to improve on that.
Why are you blaming the poor?
Stop looking at the finger! It's the moon!

Anonymous said...

Housing Associations are non-profit making organisations...the chief exec of L&Q was paid £124,000 in 2001. The following year he was paid £133,000.

A list produced by the present government stated the chief executive of L&Q was paid £200,000 last year.

bumbags said...

@anon (my name may be stupid, but at least I've got one) 22.27
Where have I said there should be no healthcare/education/pension? What a pile of crap. Why not tell me what I think about baked beans and WW2 while you're at it- you're obviously psychic.
I'm making very valid points about the State benefits system being a total farce, and unfair. I KNOW PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO WORK, partners who choose to live apart as it would affect their benefits. If I know them, so do many others. I also know people who have worked like CRAZY to better their lives. I also know people who have lost their jobs and genuinely needed temporary help. Nobody is saying State help shouldn't be there for emergencies like this.
I have also mentioned the awful long-term effects of unemployment, and the need for education, free training and help in getting people back into work (yup, that sounds pretty uncaring too).
If you are unfortunate enough to be on £65 a week Jobseekers you are also eligible for housing benefit, which will cover your rent. My point is that some people are claiming A LOT of money for this, and exploiting the system. If I, and millions of other workers have to live in cheap places, maybe they should too? This country needs to cut back at the moment, and a reasonable cap is fair to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I've just seen Plly Tonbee on TV talking gloom and doom for the poor and needy because of the government cuts.

Why doesn't Polly 'adopt' a poor family and support them with housing and financially?

There isn't a law preventing her paying more money to the Tresuary if she wishes to choose so.

By the way the winner of the 130 million Euro lottery is now said to be the 500th richest person in the UK...mmmmmm.

max said...

Bumbags, it's human nature, if the system is full of holes there will be people taking advantage, but the underlying reason is that the benefit system is perversely designed, not the wickedness of the undeserving poor.

Any reform that wants to improve should go to the root cause, and in the case of housing it's the lack of it. Cutting housing benefits without providing new social housing is a bad reform.

Anonymous said...

Housing in Lewisham should have been resolved years decades ago.

Council minutes show after each World War there was a housing crisis, in the past 60 years there hasn't been such significant events.

In Lewisham one party has held the reins for 40 years, since 2002 that party has held the key post of elected Mayor.

Yet in recent years there was a significant increase in the council housing waiting list and overcrowding.

During the financial 'boom' things got so bad in Lewisham B&B accomodation for homeless families was re-introduced.

The politicians and systems they introduce and adhere to have failed to address a very simple problem....a shortage of housing.

Under the previous government a report was produced that showed the level of new housing was at its lowest for 60 years.

The current 'urgent' requirement for primary school buildings is another fine example of why Britain has failed to resolve basic requirements.

The women of Lewisham did not get pregnant in May of this year and give birth a 5 year old in September.

Politicians need to stop pointing the finger at the other lot and focus on the job in hand.

Anonymous said...

Back to the centre of Lewisham there is a great deal of new housing currently being constructed.

Silkworks has occupants, the Taylor Wimpey development is well underway, work at Loampit Vale has began as has Connington Road.

Yet Lewisham Gateway the scheme that was to suppose to kick-start all this regeneration is on hold with no indication when or if the scheme will be completed.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile the News Shopper reports the Mayor has been turning the sod....

Resident representatives from the Heathside and Lethbridge estates in Lewisham joined together with dignitaries to hold an official sod turning event.

The event on October 12 marked the beginning of a major project to rebuild the estates into new, well-designed and desirable places to live.

The scheme was one of the first regeneration schemes to benefit from the Mayor of London’s Kickstart targeted funding stream, aimed at delivering projects which had been affected by the adverse economic conditions.

max said...

This kickstart is a bit of a deja vu, I remember about a year ago the Mayor demolishing the old laundry building to... kickstart the works.
Anyway, BC reported about the plans here:

As much as one can appreciate the positives, and there are quite a few, this scheme does not include any new rented social housing at all, in fact it will lose 4 units of that kind. All of the increase in density here is made of private housing.

Anonymous said...

The savings in Lewisham could be really huge.

Council estates, victorian 4 beds house turned into Caouncil Villas, or housing associations facilities or in regulated rental accomodations (a thing of the past but not in Lewisham).

Put them all together and I think you reach more than 50% of the population.

However every house given with tax payers money is a secure vote for the party who gives the houses.

The many new Council estate developments that are mashrooming everywhere are meant to consolidate this position and the last election showed that the vote for a house relationship in Lewisham is stronger than ever.

I would not hold my breath for real change in the area. If you look for change better moving somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

"The many new Council estate developments that are mashrooming everywhere"

Really? Every report I've read says that social housing is in massively short supply.

By the way, when the mail whinges about housing benefit just remember that the money does not go to the mythical work shy claimant. It goes to the private landlord, your taxes goes in the pocket of a property developer - why is there no outrage there? I don't think either party would disagree that there is not enough affordable housing out there, does anyone know how much of the housing sold to tenants for a pittance is now being rented back to hb claimants? Thanks Maggie, great move.

Tressilliana said...

Anon, Lewisham Council won't be the landlord in any of those social housing schemes, unless I've completely misunderstood. Government-funded or subsidised Housing Associations or Trusts, surely?

Other Anon who talks about Lewisham not having enough social housing - absolutely not the council's fault, in this case! Are you aware that in the 80s the Tories made it possible for council tenants to buy their homes at a huge discount to the market price and forbade councils from using the proceeds to build replacement housing?

max said...

Exactly, those "massive Council Estates" aren't Council Estates at all.
They're private developments with a component of affordable housing that in turn is only in part for rent and in part for shared ownership schemes which I contend are not far away from the right to buy of Margaret Thatcher.
Ross had made the maths of how much social housing was being provided at the Catford Dogtrack development (link) that keep in mind, was largely a publicly funded scheme.

By the way, I think that Lewisham Council ownes quite a number of empty properties that it can't allocate to tenants only because it can't afford to refurbish them, and that's particularly true for Victorian houses that after a few years of being empty are very expensive to renovate indeed.

Name said...

Sir Steve Bullock was on Radio 4, this morning, I was rather proud of the approach he took to the assumed concern of housing benefit claimants coming to this area.

Brockley Nick said...

@Name - which was what?

Name said...

*Evan put it to Steve that HB claimants pushed out of rich areas, would go to poor areas of Lewisham.
Steve agreed.

Evan this may be problem, as it causes exclusively rich & poor boroughs.

Steve agreed that is not such a good thing, as socially mixed areas are good, and that it may cause resource issues re schools and care of the elderly and private housing sector.

Evan then suggested that hoardes of poor people coming to an area is a problem in and of itself.

Steve sounded somewhat taken aback and replied that it would not be right to suggest that all HB claimants are poor, most work and just need a little help to top up their rent and his borough welcomes everyone.

*Pls note that the above is a paraphrase...I think this interview might on iplayer podcast.

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