Over the next few weeks there will be a number of events taking place on the estate where you can have your say on the council’s proposal to rebuild the estate. Your views will be collated and will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet before they make a formal decision.
What has been happening?
The council wants everyone living on our estates to have a good quality home to live in and we are working hard to find the best
and most practical way to do that. As you know, we have been working with residents on the future of your estate for over 12 months – looking at proposals and listening to your views.
There have been 12 public meetings and exhibitions, over 50 weekly drop-in sessions in the local office, 15 door-knocking days and we have sent out numerous newsletters and ‘frequently asked questions’ (FAQs). There have also been over 20 meetings of the Resident Engagement Panel (REP). The council has worked hard to answer all your queries and address concerns raised over the last year. We have had contact with over 400 people living on the estate from over 300 different households – that’s 70% of everyone living in Central Hill.
The council is now beginning the process of formally consulting you on our recommended option for Central Hill, which is to fully rebuild the estate. The consultation booklet sets out details on every proposal we have considered and explains why the council is proposing to rebuild the estate.
Full rebuilding will mean that:
- No council tenant will be made homeless because of the rebuilding
- Every council tenant will be able to move to a brand new home at council rent level on the estate with a new Assured Lifetime Tenancy
- The new homes will be built to meet current council tenants’ needs
- Affordable options will be provided to assist resident homeowners to stay on the estate
- The development will be led by the council through Homes for Lambeth, and NOT an external private developer
- There will be more affordable homes built, and specifically homes let at council rent levels
Why are we looking at rebuilding Central Hill?
The major reason for recommending rebuilding of the estate is that it is simply the only practical way to improve your living conditions. At the end of the process existing secure tenants will have a brand new home, with an Assured Lifetime Tenancy. Resident homeowners will also be able to have a brand new home without the threat of substantial bills from refurbishing the current estate.
The refurbishment of existing homes on the estate does not provide value for money for the council – see page 14 for more information. The council is also committed to building 1,000 extra homes at council rent levels over the next five years in an attempt to help ease the housing crisis that is affecting tens of thousands of people in Lambeth alone. We are on track to meet this commitment, with new family size homes already built at St Oswald’s Place and Akerman Road.
The council has also invested millions of pounds across the borough to bringing homes up to the Lambeth Housing Standard – including installing new windows, roofs, kitchens and bathrooms across the borough. However, there isn’t nearly enough money to improve all 24,000 council homes in Lambeth. This is because we have needed to do more work than originally planned, and the cost of refurbishment has been higher than we expected. On top of that, the government has cut grants for Decent Homes and imposed a 4% reduction in rents, which will cut another £30m from the housing budget over the next four years.
This is making the challenge even more difficult for the council and is restricting the amount of money the council can afford to borrow. The council has been lobbying government for some time to take the housing crisis seriously, reverse some of these decisions and provide more funding for existing and new council homes. The council will continue this fight on your behalf.
What does this mean for Central Hill?
On estates where refurbishment does not provide value for money for the council and is not practical, we are looking at different ways to give all residents good-quality homes and also increase the number of homes available.
For Central Hill, we have examined the following in full:
- Full rebuilding
- Infill and refurbishment
- Partial rebuilding
- A proposal from Architects for Social Housing (ASH)
Full rebuilding has been found to be the only practical option.
Your consultation booklet sets out each proposal – the pros and cons and a concluding recommendation on each. Please take time to read these because we want to hear your views on the future of your estate.
When assessing each proposal we have considered:
- Does this deliver a good-quality home for all current Lambeth tenants and resident homeowners?
- Does this deliver more homes?
- Does this provide value for money for the council?
Option for consultation: Full rebuilding
This means every existing secure tenant will get a brand new home, meeting the Homes for Lambeth Design Standards. They will be designed with a good layout and appropriate space – including outside space – and the homes will be accessible, with high energy performance standards. There would be a phased rebuilding so the majority of residents will be able to move
straight into a new home.
The number of homes on Central Hill will increase substantially, as private homes (either private sale or rent) will need to be built to help pay for the much needed affordable homes over and above the replacement of the existing 320 council homes. The final numbers will be agreed through the design and planning process. This could range from 500 to 750 additional homes. As many as possible of the these new homes will be affordable and at a council level rent. Put simply, there will be a mix of homes on the rebuilt estate – building homes for private sale or rent enables us to build more high-quality homes at council level rent.
Full rebuilding means:
- The full rebuilding of the estate, with the new homes built by Homes for Lambeth
- Every secure tenant will be guaranteed a good-quality new home which will meet their needs on Central Hill
- The opportunity for all existing resident homeowners to acquire a new home on Central Hill
- Maximising additional housing offered at council rent levels - the number and tenure mix to be determined during the design process
- The phased demolition of all the existing homes, to enable the majority of residents to move straight into a new home
Does this deliver a good-quality home for all current Lambeth tenants and resident homeowners to live in?
Yes. All secure tenants are guaranteed a good-quality new home built to high energy performance standards which will meet their needs. All existing resident homeowners will have the opportunity to acquire a new home on Central Hill.
Does this deliver more homes?
Yes. The final numbers will be agreed through the design and planning process, ranging from 500 to 750 homes being built. As many as possible of the additional new homes will be affordable and at a council level rent.
Does this provide value for money for the council?
Yes. The new homes would be built by Homes for Lambeth, including the private homes (either private sale or rent) which would help pay for the much needed affordable homes including homes at council rent levels. No money from the council’s limited housing budget would be used, saving money that can be used on other homes across the borough.
Full rebuilding means a good-quality home for all current residents, represents value for money for the council and can be paid for. This is the option that the council is now formally consulting on. If the rebuilding doesn’t happen, all homes on the estate would remain as they are.
The council’s programme for refurbishing homes (the Lambeth Housing Standard programme) has been successful in improving thousands of homes. However, the cost of refurbishment has been higher than expected and more work has been needed than originally planned, so the programme is currently being reviewed. There is uncertainty about when refurbishment could happen – Central Hill is currently not in the council’s investment plan as it is being considered for rebuilding. This means that in the short to medium term, only essential investment will take place - leaseholders will be liable for substantial Section 20 bills to cover their share of these works. No full refurbishment programme can be guaranteed.
What would this mean for a secure tenant?
What would this mean for a resident homeowner?
Timetable for consultation
The timetable of events is:
What: Opening Exhibition
When: 15th October 2016
Where: Central Hill Day Centre, 1 Lunham Road, London, SE19 1AA
Time: 11:00 – 15:00 (drop in anytime between open and close)
What: Re-run of the exhibition
When: 18th October 2016
Where: Central Hill Day Centre, 1 Lunham Road, London, SE19 1AA
Time: 18:00 – 20:00 (drop in anytime between open and close)
What: Office open evenings and summary exhibition and a chance to have your say on the council’s proposals
When: 17th October – 14th November
Where: Resource Centre 4 High Limes (behind the shop on Hawke Road), Central Hill Estate
Times: Monday 4pm- 8pm
Tuesday 10am – 5.30pm
What: Cabinet Decision
When: December 2016
Times: TBC (we will write to you with further details of the cabinet meeting and paper in the late stages of the consultation)
If you want to download a pdf version of the full Central Hill consultation booklet you can do so by clicking here.
You can find supporting information and Frequently Asked Questions on the links below:
If you don’t have access to the internet, please get in touch with the Central Hill team via:
Fiona: 07860 180 559 or Lauren: 07720 828 260
The Council wants to support residents (homeowners and council tenants) with support and advice throughout the regeneration process. That is why the council is providing resident selected Independent Advisors. Their contact details are below:
Telephone: 0207 407 7452
Freephone (for landlines): 0800 317 066