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:


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?


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.