250 new Council homes for Lewisham

Brockley Kate sends us this Lewisham Council release:

The Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock, has given the go-ahead for the building of 250 new council homes to be built in Lewisham - the first social housing to be built by the Council in the borough for 30 years.

He also made clear his intention that the Council continues to work with developers, housing providers and partners across the sector to maximise the opportunities for investment and new homes, and improve the quality of the current housing stock.

Instructing officers to carry out a detailed analysis of possible in-fill sites for the new housing at this week’s Mayor and Cabinet meeting, Sir Steve also approved recommendations for officers to start looking at a range of options in more depth, at how the Council’s housing stock is managed and run in the future.

Sir Steve said:

“I'm pleased that we have the prospect of being able to build 250 new council homes in the borough. We need to look creatively at how we provide more homes. We already have two fantastic new developments in the Renaissance development at Loampit Vale with L&Q, and the Central Park development with Family Mosaic – developments that offer well-designed, quality new homes both for private buyers and social housing tenants.

"We also need to look to the future and how we can provide adaptable and desirable housing for our older residents; homes that will stand the test of time and be fit-for-purpose in 10, 20, 30 years’ time."

Average house prices in Lewisham have gone up by 250 per cent in the past couple of years, while wages have increased only by 50 per cent. National statistics predict that the population in Lewisham could rise by a further 23,500 people by 2030.

Looking at how the Council’s housing stock is managed, and by whom, was also a recommendation. The Council’s management organisation, Lewisham Homes, was set up in 2007. Since then it has improved and services for residents and updated and improved more than 9,000 Council homes.

Along with the new building programme the Council will be embarking on a conversation with residents over the autumn about their priorities for housing and the options. Called “Housing Matters”, the programme will see officers talking to residents about two broad options that have been identified as possible ways forward in the running of council housing in the borough: one option is that the Council keeps ownership of council homes, either managed, as now, by Lewisham Homes, or directly by the Council. The other is to transfer ownership of council homes, either to an existing social housing provider (such as a housing association) or to a new mutual organisation in which residents and tenants would have a high degree of control and influence.

 It is envisaged that the Council will have a clearer picture at the end of the year from residents on how they would like to see their homes managed and run in the future.


Mb said...

"250 per cent in the past couple of years" Sir Steve had a brain freeze there I think?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, I don't think wages have increased by 50% in the last couple of years either. Must mean decades.

Anonymous said...

Bullock really has his finger on the pulse there.

What about Lewisham Gateway and all the homes that won't be delivered from that scheme?

Anonymous said...

"homes that will stand the test of time and be fit-for-purpose in 10, 20, 30 years’ time."

by implication he's saying that the homes that are being built at present, ie, Loampit Vale, will not pass this test . . .

However, he's also very aware that he's losing the trust of voters - and Labour councillors - in his cynical liaison with 'investment' developers. And it's no surprise that this announcement has been made shortly after he had to make an embarrassing U-turn (with the public excluded) on auctioning off of housing stock.

But the question remains that if enough present standing housing stock was refurbished it would create substantially more than the 250 new homes promised now. PR puff at it's best/worse.

Brockley Nick said...

"by implication he's saying that the homes that are being built at present, ie, Loampit Vale, will not pass this test . . ."

I don't see how that logically follows at all (full disclosure, Barratt is a client of my firm)

Anonymous said...

who pays?

Anonymous said...

What about kidbroke? I though they were including Council houses.

Anonymous said...

Sir. Bullock is in for another round of benefits in exchange for votes.

He knows very well that if you want house prices to go down you need to be building many good standard houses for families that can afford to pay for them.

Houses are a scarce commodity and the price even of Council Houses is driven by the marginal price of the top of the market.

Furthermore, the more they allow developers to build high, the more land value goes up, and so the value of the finish product.

Council Houses are a trap for poor people, who will never afford to move out of them, an to support themselves without benefits.

Unfortunately Council Houses are only a bribe in exchange of votes, which has a very detrimental effect on the economy because it forces people to beg for the rest of their lives.

I can see that the UK is struggling to terms with reality, and will end up in a 20 years Japanese style stagnation at best, or a deep economic depression 1930's style.

Well done Mayor to be in keep with the new millennium!!

Anonymous said...

This is a waste of money. He should be selling off the vast bank of highly valuable property' which the Council probably pays people to "run". Why is he not trying to balance the books?

Anonymous said...

None in the conservation area I hope. Not much infill potential anyway i guess. Phew.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 17:58
Thanks for the usual tired rant about cynical liaisons and nasty developers.

Some proper asset management by the Council and partnership working with developers to build new homes for sale and rent is what we want.

Not only creating homes but also jobs, both in the short term through construction and in the longer term through services and facility management.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20:05.

Whatever. I wonder how many council homes they tore down to build Da Vini bloody torre et al. More than 250 i would guess.

Anonymous said...

Whatever? Clever.

The aggregate of rented homes alone at River Mill Park and Loampit Vale is significantly more than on the former Sundermead Estate they have replaced. And then there's the homes for sale in addition.

New homes in an inner London Borough, good news for all. Let's have more.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20:02.

Rented homes, not council homes. Which was the point.

Anyway, have you seen the rents in those places. Brockley prices to live next to Lewisham roundabout - no thanks.

Anonymous said...

People rightly complain about banks. However when times were good the Council and the Governments did nothing to contain their expenditure.

Public budgets should be counter-cyclical, instead they only go up. Working people are being priced out of properties, and they also have to pay for benefits which will result in more people in need of support.

Will soon end up with everyone asking for benefits, then we will realise that nobody is paying anymore.... spiralling down economy and the greater depression ever conceived.

Thanks to Politician and Bankers.

Anonymous said...

And the dependency culture that three generations in some cases have "enjoyed" while others work and pay tax.

Not fair.

Anonymous said...

Anon 20:33
Tearing down crap council housing is a great idea.
Who owns the new rented homes is irrelevant, provided they are appropriately designed,good build quality, affordable and well managed.
Unfortunately, your 250 council homes only met one of these criteria.

grey day said...

Is he going to renovate the existing empty housing stock, how many council homes are boarded up and falling into greater disrepair? Sure someone out there knows. Don't say 250, just to make Mayor look an idiot.
Don't councils have some powers to get empty private accommodation rented out again? Fine doing new build but should fix the existing too and indeed first. Would seem less contraversial than building on what could be a lovely open space..

Just to be cyncial they aren't housing that is already planned in Catford?

Anonymous said...

Most council house tenants work and pay tax. Complex isn't it? You also benefit from others working and paying taxes while you didn't as a child and will again when you are elderly and no longer working.

Anonymous said...

yep we have dependency culture next door, 2 generations. son (adult) 2 sprogs produced, still living with mum, doesn't work wtf?

oryx said...

Very well said, anon @ 23.35.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we all know that individual anecdotes are the BEST way of deciding policy. My grandad smoked until he was 83, he was hit by a bus. Therefore smoking is not dangerous.

Anonymous said...

We should not be providing subsidised housing in London. All that does is encourage more people to live in London rather than the rest of the country and put an increasing strain on the South East whilst moving more investment from the North to the South.

Policy should be to deter people from London and the best way of doing that it to leave house pricing to the market.

In any case, if homes are to be built they should stand the test of time and be fit-for-purpose in 100 years' time not something shoddy with a life of 10, 20 or 30 years - and that means building fewer, better houses.

Anonymous said...

But who wil clean your office? Or nurse you in Hostpital? What if your husban dies and your left to bring up two kids wha are at school? Ship them out to Eastbourne?

Anonymous said...

Well said Anon 18:57. Many people get so obsessed by property values that they don't get the bigger picture. Shocking that this bubble is being supported by the Bank of England now. More decent affordable housing, more right to buy, then more decent affordable housing, I say. London needs people, it is not full; not even half full.

Anonymous said...

People are obsessed by property values because they act effectively as an inflationary tax that determines inflation in the local economy.

The rent in retailing can be a cost component as high as 20 to 30% of the retail price.

If you factor in that rental value also accounts for 40 to 50% of shop workers, and so forth down the value chain, one can understand that property and rental values account for over 50% of the price of everything in the UK.

It is my humble opinion that this is artificially maintained.

If there is someone paying rents, there is also someone collecting rents...

The USA understood this quite clearly and created a disincentive system based on high taxation to avoid property inflation. The US hates "rentiers"!

People need to be able to afford a a well built house without having to ask for benefits that drain resources from the rest of the society.

Those resources would be better spent in fostering entrepreneurship, research, education which are the source of income for everyone... unless we move to a society where we are all supported by government.

Personally I think that nurses and school teachers should be paid a salary that allows the to survive without benefits. If we cannot do so, it means the system is incorrect. Politician that persevere in fostering the system that has led to where we are financially should be made criminally accountable.

Furthermore, Lewisham has the highest proportion of unemployed in Council Houses, and probably the highest proportion of inherited right to Council Houses. Virtually everyone employed by the Council has managed to work his/her way to Victorian Council house ownership for the life of generations.

In more than case they breach the rules and informally retire abroad on their pension and rent out their houses to student and young workers.

While I share the concern about young school teachers and nurses, I think I am not the only one in Lewisham seeing that the Council house system is rottenly managed and anti-economic.

oryx said...

Anon @ 9.15. You said:

'Furthermore, Lewisham has the highest proportion of unemployed in Council Houses, and probably the highest proportion of inherited right to Council Houses. Virtually everyone employed by the Council has managed to work his/her way to Victorian Council house ownership for the life of generations.'

What evidence do you have of this?

Stop Regenter B3 said...

Let's just hope Bullock doesn't have a failed PFI consortium like Regenter B3 managing the properties... or Higgins building them (the same company that wrecked the council housing in Brockley a few years ago).

Anonymous said...

I re-read the bit about being fit for purpose in 10,20,30 years and the full context is this:

"We also need to look to the future and how we can provide adaptable and desirable housing for our older residents; homes that will stand the test of time and be fit-for-purpose in 10, 20, 30 years’ time."

I wonder if he means the homes should be fit for the purpose of the RESIDENTS in 30 years' time, ie as people get older they may have decreased mobility and need adaptations in the home. New planning policy for London homes includes requirements such as enough space for wheelchair use; a toilet on the ground floor that can be converted to a shower-room; and stairs that can accommodate a stair lift. So hopefully that's what he meant, not that the housing itself should last for 30 years.

joyce said...

I think that he has good intentions of building homes that could easily accessed by the elderly. I think that it would be nice to have a wheelchair accessible home for your grandparents and parents alike.

Anonymous said...

We should sell of council owned property near the river and reinvest in building higher quality social housing with the proceeds

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