The Key Guarantees will remain in place for current homeowners and secure tenants of that new estate.
Any substantive changes to the Key Guarantees would require a new Cabinet decision that would be subject to a fresh consultation with residents.
The reason for the switch from shared equity to shared ownership was explained during the consultation process. The council considers that the shared ownership offer provides an equivalent opportunity for homeowners wishing to remain living on an estate to do so.
New homes will be more environmentally efficient than existing homes and therefore more cost effective to run with more efficient heating and hot water systems, improved insulation, all of which will contribute to lower costs of running the home. Being newly built homes, there will be much lower levels of capital expenditure required on the properties for many years. There is, however, a possibility that the Council Tax will be higher than for existing homes on the estates. The council cannot guarantee that monthly outgoings will be lower, but we fully expect them to be.
Through engagement with residents it is clear there are mixed views on this. Some residents want a shorter construction programme even if this means moving more than once. Others prefer only one move even if this means a longer construction programme. Given this the council will discuss with residents on each estate about the construction programme and try and find the best mix between the two approaches. Hence the objective has now been set to minimise disruption for residents.
The Key Guarantees are designed to allow you and your family to stay living on the estate and we hope that you will do so. However, if you decide that the best thing for you and your family is to sell your home to the council please get in touch with your local estate regeneration team.
Has there been any independent review of these guarantees? How does the Lambeth offer compare to other boroughs doing similar schemes?
The council commissioned TPAS (Tenant Participatory Advisory Service), a well-respected organisation that helps tenants and leaseholders, to review the Key Guarantees and benchmark them against the practice of other local authorities. The conclusions of this review were that:
• the draft Key Guarantees exceeded minimum legal requirements; and
• the draft Key Guarantees performed very well in comparison to those offered by other local authorities, in many instances exceeding those provided elsewhere.
The full TPAS Review can be found at estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/improving_the_key_guarantees.
How do the Key Guarantees relate to Homes for Lambeth, future tenancies and leases, and future housing management
The Key Guarantees relate to the whole regeneration process. They are aimed at giving residents certainty that they can move into a new home on a rebuilt estate. The Key Guarantees also set out what residents can expect of the council and Homes for Lambeth during the estate regeneration process. The council will be talking to residents about future housing management arrangements and the details of Homes for Lambeth tenancies and leases.
What assurance will the council give that the Key Guarantees will not be watered down or retracted through the estate regeneration process?
Any substantive changes to the Key Guarantees would require a new Cabinet decision that would be subject to a fresh consultation with residents.
Both the council and Homes for Lambeth will be responsible for delivering the Key Guarantees. Which party will be formally responsible for delivering a Key Guarantee at any one time will depend on when it is required in the development process. For example, the council has already started early buy back of some properties and helped some secure tenants move to a new home away from their estate. However, when homes start to be built, it is Homes for Lambeth that will be offering the new homes to tenants and homeowners.
The council will consult with current homeowners and secure tenants on the future tenancies and leases that Homes for Lambeth will offer. Details of the consultation will be provided in due course. Please contact the Housing Regeneration Team or the Independent Adviser for your estate who will explain how you can get involved.
Once masterplanning on any estate gets underway, the council will involve residents in the drafting of a Local Lettings Plan. This will set out a process and prioritisation system, which will set out how tenants and homeowners can apply for new-built homes. The council’s allocations scheme will still apply.
Can the council provide disturbance payments as lump sums instead of residents having to provide evidence through receipts?
The council is considering the request for lump sum disturbance payments. If this approach were to be adopted, then size of payment would be linked to size of home. It should be noted that the council also provides direct assistance to tenants such as removals service, disconnection and reconnection of appliances, provision of a paint pack and provision of new flooring. Additional direct assistance is available for those with special needs. A decision will be taken on whether to move to a lump sum payment in 2018.
As set out in the Key Guarantees, the council has committed that secure tenants will be offered homes sized according to their housing need (see Key Guarantee 2) and homeowners will be offered homes of the same number of bedrooms as they currently have. All other characteristics of new homes (whether they have gardens or not, on what floor they are, etc.) will be developed through the masterplanning process. The allocation of new homes will be done through the Local Allocations Strategy. Residents will have the opportunity to influence both the masterplanning process and the LAS for their estate. Residents will also be able to express preferences through the Housing Needs Assessment process that takes place at the beginning of the masterplanning process. Every new home will have outdoor amenity space (balcony, garden or terrace).
Please clarify what will happen in the case that I am required to move temporarily to enable estate regeneration.
The arrangements for double moves would differ for tenants and homeowners. In the case of tenants, the council will make a second home loss payment if a tenant is asked by the council/Homes for Lambeth to move more than once AND if they must live in a temporary home for more than 12 months. This additional payment will not be made if a tenant is offered a suitable permanent home that meets their housing needs and then chooses to move a second time to an alternative home. Disturbance payments would, however, be paid for each move. If a homeowner is asked by the council/ Homes for Lambeth to move more than once, then they will only be offered one home loss payment (linked to the value of their original home); they would, however, not have to pay rent for the duration of their temporary move; but they would have to pay service charges. If at any time a homeowner is offered a suitable home, but does not want this to be their final home, then they would have to pay rent and service charges in any temporary home until they moved to their final home; Homes for Lambeth would, however, pay reasonable disturbance payments for the subsequent move.
If a secure tenant decides to move away from your current estate, but wishes to retain an option to return, then they would need to notify the Housing Regeneration Team. Secure tenants remaining on an estate would have priority for new choice of homes. When an estate has been mostly built (or, where relevant, a phase has been completed) and all the secure tenants remaining on the estate have been re-housed, then the Housing Regeneration Team would contact those who have retained an option to return to ask if they now wished to exercise that option and return to the estate. Anyone responding to that offer would be provided information on what homes are available and how they can bid for those new homes.Only after all those who wish to take up the option to return have moved back to the estate would new homes be made available to those on the general waiting list.
There will be a “right to return” in those circumstances where the council/Homes for Lambeth has asked a tenant or homeowner to move temporarily off their estate to cater for the phasing of development. In these circumstances, there will be a “right to return”, where the council/Homes for Lambeth will commit that suitably sized accommodation will be available on the new estate and that those with a “right to return” will be considered with same priority for a new home as those that continue living on the estate. It is anticipated that there will only be very limited circumstances where the council/Homes for Lambeth asks someone to move temporarily off the estate.
Secure tenants would need to make sure that the adult children are either on or added to the tenancy as authorized occupants and that they use the home as their main and principal home. They would then be considered as part of the household.
See Guarantee 2 for secure tenants. The council cannot re-house adult children into separate homes as this would conflict with the council’s Allocation Scheme and could be considered unfair to other tenants and those on the housing waiting list. As a result, the council won’t be offering separate accommodation for adult children. For homeowners, it may be possible to make shared ownership homes available for adult children; but this will have to be explored on an estate-by-estate basis and considered in the context of project viability and affordability to the potential purchasers.
Is the size of a new home offered the same whether I were to move away from the estate or take a new home on the estate?
Yes. Whether you take a new home on the estate or choose an alternative home elsewhere in the Borough, you will be offered a home that meets your housing need.
Will tenants be compensated for accepting a smaller property than what they are eligible for under the Key Guarantees
Where a tenant chooses to downsize to a property that is smaller than that for which they are eligible under the Key Guarantees, then they would be compensated under the same arrangements as the council’s Tenant Incentive Scheme.
It applies to everyone who has a housing need below the size of their current home. So, if you live in a three bed flat currently, but your housing need is for a one bed, you will be offered a two bedroom home.
The council will carry out a medical assessment to determine what aids and adaptation you would require. Where this medical assessment shows that you will need aids and adaptations to your new home, then they will be built in and paid for by Homes for Lambeth. This will not come out of your home loss payment.
Unless they are a dependent child, they will not be considered as part of your household.
The rent increase for the new homes will be phased in over a 5-year period, after which the rent will be at the full amount for your new home. From that point forwards, any annual rent changes would be determined in the same way as those for Lambeth council homes.
No. Rent arrears will be deducted from home loss payments.
The council defines vulnerability as those whose ability to live independently is at risk due to an array of circumstances and needs. This includes residents who require additional care and support services both in general needs and specialist housing, regardless of age. Vulnerability is not necessarily permanent; people’s needs change over time. The Key Guarantees embed within them commitments to ensure that those with disabilities and special needs are given the extra help that they require enabling them to move home. In progressing estate regeneration projects, the Housing Regeneration team will abide by the council’s approach to equalities, which are embedded in the Lambeth Borough Plan. The Housing Regeneration Team will ensure that housing needs assessments will be carried out for all affected households and the council’s equalities duties will be embedded in all decision making throughout an estate regeneration project. Equality Impacts Assessments will be assessed at key stages.
The council can help you get in touch with the relevant housing departments in the local authorities in other places that you may wish to move to. The council can also help you understand their procedures and to complete forms. The council does not, however, have reciprocal arrangements with other local authorities and your ability to obtain a home, wherever you wish to move to outside of Lambeth, will depend upon availability of council homes in that area.
An assured lifetime tenancy is for as long as you chose to live there. This assumes that you do not breach the conditions of the tenancy.
Why are tenants not being given the option to buy one of the new homes under the shared ownership option?
The objective of the estate regeneration programme is to build more and better homes. Opening this option up to all tenants would, as with Right To Buy, potentially reduce the number of affordable homes the council has to house its tenants over the longer term. The council also needs to consider how this would affect the viability of any estate regeneration project.
The council will keep this under review and consider the matter in more detail on an estate-by-estate basis, if there is a demand from tenants for such an option. It would require a lump sum payment of a minimum of 25% of the value of the new property and the tenant would need to pay rent on the share of the home retained by Homes for Lambeth as well as service charges.
Once a regeneration project is underway, the council will let resident homeowners know the process by which they will be able to obtain a new home on their estate.
The council is under no obligation to provide nonresident homeowners with a new home. Lambeth is experiencing an extreme housing shortage. The council cannot therefore offer non-resident homeowners an ability to acquire a new home for anything other than full market value.
Where new homes are built for market sale, then non-resident homeowners will be able to acquire one of the new properties at full market value. Non-resident homeowners will be compensated as set out in the Key Guarantees.
The main difference between freeholders and leaseholders is that freeholders own the freehold of their property. This freehold has a value and this value would be included in the market valuation of the property. In addition, some freeholders do not currently pay any service charges (whereas others do). The compensation to freeholders would consequently be different (a higher value for their property). But the offers of a new property remain the same as for leaseholders
Is there a minimum percentage of ownership required for ‘zero rent shared ownership’ properties?
Under Key Guarantee 1 (Option C), you would effectively experience a switch from paying a mortgage to paying a rent, where that rent is likely to be like your existing mortgage. If you were unable to renew your existing mortgage, then Homes for Lambeth would step in and pay off your existing mortgage. Consequently, you would not be putting the full market value of your property into your new home and Homes for Lambeth will have had to borrow money to pay off your mortgage. Homes for Lambeth would therefore seek to recoup the cost of stepping in to pay off your mortgage by charging a rent on your property. The commitment in the Key Guarantees is that the rent that you would be charged would be calculated based on the cost of paying off your mortgage.
Homes for Lambeth will pay the difference between the old and new mortgages for new mortgages of the same size as an existing mortgage for a 12 month period
So long as one of the co-owners in a property is resident on the estate, then the property will be treated as being that of a resident homeowner with eligibility for Key Guarantee 1.
Where it has been decided to redevelop an estate, the council will commence a process to find out how many homeowners wish to sell their properties to the council prior to regeneration taking place. Once there is a better understanding of the demand for early buy-back on an estate, then the council will develop a strategy for early buy-backs. In the meantime, the council is setting aside reasonable budgets to enable buy backs of properties in a managed way, where priority is given to those who have a demonstrable need to leave an estate.
The council will instruct surveyors to carry out independent valuations of homes. Homeowners are also able to instruct their own RICS registered valuers (with experience of the local housing market) to carry out a valuation for them, the council will pay for these reasonable costs. Such costs need to be agreed with the council during the purchase process.
The council will itself pay the stamp duty for the acquisition of the existing home. The council will then also cover all stamp duty costs when a homeowner is moving to a newly built home on their estate. Where a resident or non-resident homeowner sells their property, and moves away from the estate, then they will be eligible for compensation for additional costs within a 12-month period associated with acquiring a new home, such as the stamp duty associated with acquiring a new property. The reimbursement of any SDLT costs will be capped at a level that matches the amount payable on the purchase of a home of the sa
The zero rent shared ownership offer to resident homeowners is made to compensate you for the disturbance caused by having to move home to make way for regeneration of your estate. As a consequence, you would be able to live for the rest of your life in a home of considerably higher value without having to pay anything for this benefit. The council cannot justify offering to extend that benefit to people who have no prior connection to the location, nor have experienced any disturbance from relocation.
What happens to residents who have not lived in the home for more than 1 year on the death of a homeowner?
They would not be eligible to acquire the property, unless they were able to purchase the council’s share of the property.
In the context of succession the council civil partnership confers the same rights and responsibilities as marriage.
As part of the cabinet decision to carry out a regeneration scheme for your estate, the council made a commitment to enable communities to stay together. To honour this commitment, we are putting in place various options to enable resident homeowners to remain on the estate. These options are part of the Key Guarantees.
However, the council understands that personal circumstances may lead to some homeowners wanting to sell their property to the council before the redevelopment of the estate. In response to requests from homeowners, a number of properties in the regeneration schemes have been bought by the council so far. Other homeowners have asked us how much their own property may be worth. The table below shows the purchase price agreed with the owners for your information, together with the size and also the loss payment.
|HOMEOWNER BUYBACKS ON REGENERATION ESTATES|
|Post code||Bedsize / type||Purchase Price||Loss Payment||Purchase Completion Date|
|SW2 2QN||3B flat||£350,000.00||£26,250.00||15-Mar-16|
|SW2 2QG||2B house||£385,000.00||£28,875.00||10-May-16|
|SW2 2QE||2B flat||£390,000.00||£39,000.00||07-Oct-16|
|SW2 2QN||1B flat||£255,000.00||£19,125.00||20-Oct-16|
|SW2 2QG||2B house||£390,000.00||£39,000.00||16-Nov-16|
|SW2 2QE||2B house||£390,000.00||£29,250.00||22-Nov-16|
|SW2 2NN||3B flat||£385,000.00||£28,875.00||06-Dec-16|
|SW8 3LP||1B flat||£290,000.00||£29,000.00||16-Dec-16|
|SW2 2NH||1B flat||£275,000.00||£27,500.00||19-Jan-17|
|SW2 2QG||2B flat||£375,000.00||£28,125.00||03-Feb-17|
|SW2 2NG||1B flat||£307,500.00||£23,062.50||16-Feb-17|
|SW9 9NL||2B flat||£355,000.00||£35,500.00||17-Feb-17|
|SW2 2NN||2B house||£400,000.00||£40,000.00||23-Mar-17|
|SW8 3LJ||3B flat||£395,000.00||£29,625.00||25-Apr-17|
It does not include information about the disturbance payments made to homeowners and other fees and charges paid for by the council. Please note that you should consider these figures as an indication only of the value of your own property; the value of properties will depend on their characteristics eg size, location, condition and can change over time.
The Council is now obliged by government to have a 30 year plan for the management of its housing stock that includes maintaining its stock at the decent Lambeth Housing Standard. This standard ensures that all Council homes are warm, dry and safe. The Council is always seeking ways to improve the asset management of its housing stock. Homes owned by Homes for Lambeth will need to be maintained to a good quality to ensure that Homes for Lambeth remains a viable business.
We are facing a serious housing crisis in London with increasing numbers of people unable to afford to buy or even rent a home. The numbers of council homes available are shrinking because of the right-to-buy legislation and for every family already in a council home there is someone else on our waiting list. Homelessness is increasing across London and a growing number of families are severely overcrowded. We are particularly feeling this in Lambeth.
We have over 21,000 people on our housing waiting list and the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation has risen from around 1300 last year to over 1800 today. A further 1,300 families are living in severely overcrowded homes. We are committed to building 1,000 extra homes for Council rent in the borough, to help address this problem. We must look at every scrap of land available to us to help provide those much-needed homes.
In December 2014, the Council’s Cabinet took the decision to look to deliver a sizeable proportion of these new homes at council rent on six estates across the Borough.
The Council's Cabinet is the main decision making body of the Council. It is made up of elected Councillors and consists of a leader and members who have specific areas of responsibility.
You can find out who is in the cabinet and their specific areas of responsibility here.
The Council will not be transferring tenancies. The replacement new homes would be built by Homes for Lambeth. Tenants will be given the opportunity of an assured lifetime tenancy on the estate or with another registered provider or a secure tenancy in another council property.
If the new properties are of a higher value then it is possible the homes will be in a higher Council Tax band. it is expected that they will be balanced out with lower utilities costs and service charges.
To comply with modern building regulations the new homes will have to have water meters. To offset any increase in costs for families will also be fitting low usage taps, showers and toilets. This will give residents greater control over their water bills.
This will be dependent on a large number of factors and individuals behavior. However as the new homes will be built to tougher building regulations the cost should be lower. In addition it will be possible to make "minimising future service charges" a priority element of the design process.
Resident Engagement Panels are an important part of how Lambeth Council engages with residents affected by the estates regeneration programme. Each Resident Engagement Panel will be different depending on the each estate; however there are common factors that apply to all - they are:
- That the Council can give information to the Panel to enable them to understand the background to regeneration options – subject to data-protection and Freedom of Information restrictions.
- Allows residents to have their say on issues affecting them.
- To act as a sounding board for Council officers and Council Members so they can understand issues from a resident perspective.
- To provide feedback on the feelings on the estate regarding current activities and Council proposals and feedback from a resident perspective on recent engagement activities.
- To question the Council on its proposals and test whether other courses of action have been explored or could be explored.
- To advise on how best to engage with residents generally and with different resident groups.
- To highlight issues arising and sensitivities from a resident’s perspective.
- To help to identify how residents can influence processes and proposals.
- To comment on delivery strategy – design, phasing, construction, etc.
The panels are not decision-making bodies within the Council structure. Nevertheless, they have an important role to play in relation to consultation, ensuring the views of residents on the estate are considered when decisions by the Council are made.
The Council is seeking to maximise the number of homes at council rent; most of the additional new homes will be offered for council rent. Some additional affordable 1 and 2 bed new homes may be offered at LHA rate rents. All existing tenants who move into a new home on the estate will be charged council rents.
The programme has prioritised estates where:
- The costs of delivering the Lambeth Housing Standard to homes would be too expensive,especially when compared to new-build. Lambeth Housing Standard is a standard adopted by Lambeth that ensures all Council homes in the Borough are warm dry and safe.
- Lambeth Housing Standard works would, in themselves, not address the fundamental condition of the homes nor address many of the wider social and economic problems faced by residents and/or
- The wider benefits from regeneration would justify the investment - this includes locations where the existing estate is relatively low-density and where there is an opportunity to create additional much needed new homes
Based upon this the following six estates were selected for regeneration:
- Cressingham Gardens
- Knights Walk
- Central Hill
- South Lambeth
What else is the Council doing to build more homes in the Borough other than the estate regeneration programme?
The Council is pursuing a number of avenues to build more and better homes in the Borough. For example the Council is engaged with schemes at Somerleyton Road, Akerman Road, Your New Town Hall, St Oswald’s Place and is working with Pocket Homes. More information on these developments can be found below:
http://futurebrixton.org/somerleyton-road/ http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/new_homes_taking_shape_on_akerman_road http://yournewtownhall.org/ https://www.pocketliving.com/blog/our-developments/pocket-gets-moving-in-lambeth/ http://vauxhallcityfarm.org/documents/2014/11/community-partnership-delivers-promising-future-for-vauxhall.pdf
Every opportunity that the Council has to improve or provide new homes is being considered.
In exceptional circumstances, the Council is able to buy back a few properties prior to a Cabinet Decision. On the whole, however, no purchases will be made until Cabinet has confirmed the future of an estate and determined whether redevelopment will take place.
The Council currently has produced the Key Guarantees for homeowners. The Key Guarantees would apply to you if your home is proposed for demolition as part of any redevelopment of your estate and become applicable once a Cabinet Decision has been made on the future of your estate. One of the Guarantees available to homeowners is the opportunity to sell their property to the Council ahead of any redevelopment, should they wish to move away from the estate prior to the regeneration starting. This sale would be at market value and would include the Homeloss payment.
The Council will ask its agents to carry out a market valuation of the property. In parallel to this, if you wish, you can obtain your own valuation from another RICS qualified surveyor of your choice. Once the Council and you as the homeowner have reached agreement on the value of the property, then the transaction proceeds.
It is expected that the CPO process could take approximately 18 months; however at this stage it is very difficult to say accurately how long it will take.
This will depend on the estate you live in and what comes out of the master planning process.
Why should I move, I will not be able to buy anything similar to what I have now in Lambeth, even with market value and 10% homeloss?
There are a range of options available to homeowners to ensure that they are able to live in a new home on the estate if they so wish, including the equity share scheme. Further details of these options are contained in the Homeowner's Information Booklet, which will be distributed and is available online.
The Council has made its objectives explicit - to address the housing crisis facing the Borough; to extend the supply of new homes; and to enhance the quality of existing homes. The Council will consider all relevant factors, and it is for the Council to decide what weight to give them in order to enable it to progress these objectives.
How will the council ensure that any programme of works will not adversely affect those with serious physical and mental health issues?
We are committed to reducing to a minimum any adverse effects on residents.
This will achieved in a variety of ways:
- by providing information to residents to help them understand the process and have forewarning of when things will happen
- by providing advice and assistance through the process
- by working with residents through the design process to plan out a phasing strategy to minimise disturbance
The Council publishes a summary of the HRA business plan on its website. Other details relating to the HRA can be found in the annual rent setting decision that was most recently considered by Council’s Cabinet in January 2016: http://moderngov.lambeth.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=225&MId=9377
The Council has been and is open to suggestions on how the Key Guarantees can be improved. This is one of the reasons we asked TPAS to review them earlier in the year. At the moment the Council is reviewing the TPAS recommendations and looking at other ways the Key Guarantees can be improved within the legal and financial limitations the Council works within. This work is taking longer than expected and as soon as this work is completed we will hold the wrap up consultation on the Key Guarantees to give residents a formal way to suggest improvements before they are finalised.
Homeowners would not have to pay any stamp duty if they acquire a property through the Key Guarantees.
If in the future they then sell their equity share property and move away from the estate and purchase a property elsewhere, they would have to pay stamp duty as in any normal property transaction.
This information has been provided in the Information for Secure Tenants and Information for Homeowners documents, which can be visited here.
You will need to be a resident at the time that the Council submits a planning application for the masterplan for redevelopment of the estate and to remain a resident from that time until the Council seeks to acquire your property.
If you are letting your property then tenants will be your responsibility as their landlord. You will need to give them notice and provide vacant possession of your home to the Council at the required time. The Council will liaise with you and provide you with adequate time to give notice to your tenants according to the tenancy agreement, etc. The Council will not be able to provide accommodation for your tenants. However your tenant could seek assistance and advice from the Council Housing Option Team.
I am a non-resident homeowner, letting out my home. While you are building new homes, am I covered for current rent income?
The Key Guarantees provide for acquisition of non-resident homeowner properties at market value plus 7.5% homeloss payment. The Council will not be compensating you for any loss of rental income.
Lessons learned from Myatts Field North Estate are built into the Council’s Key Guarantees for residents and into the Design Principles that Homes for Lambeth will build to. A briefing note giving greater details can be read here.
You will need to be a resident at the time that the Council submits a planning application for the masterplan for redevelopment of the estate and to remain a resident from that time until the Council seeks to acquire your property.
Decanting is the process of rehousing of tenants living in regeneration schemes, where households are required to move because their home is either being redeveloped or will undergo works that cannot be carried out in occupation.
It is managed in accordance with the council's policy, but differs from the general rehousing process because households being decanted are automatically given the highest priority banding and qualify for financial compensation.
A Demolition Notice is used to tell residents that the Council is planning to demolish their home in the future. It also explains why this is necessary - in this case to build the more and better homes the Borough needs and to confirm legally the November Cabinet decision to partially regenerate the estate.
Demolition Notices are issued in two stages:
- Initial Demolition Notices are issued to residents when the local authority is planning to demolish their property within the next seven years but has not yet established when this will happen. It does not mean that demolition work is about to start.
- Final Demolition Notices are issued to residents when the local authority has set a date for the demolition to happen. This notice can only be issued after planning permission has been granted. No demolition can happen until this Notice is issued.
In order to provide as many new homes as possible at council rent levels, the Council has set up a separate organisation to develop the new homes: Homes for Lambeth. This means that secure tenancies, which are the normal form of tenancy used for council properties, will not be granted. However, we understand how important security of tenure is for residents and propose to use Assured Lifetime tenancies for your new homes. The Assured Lifetime tenancies will be contracts between the landlord and tenant which set out the various rights and obligations. They can only be changed in future if both the landlord and tenant agree on the change; changes cannot be imposed by Government. The Council proposes to match your current tenancies as closely as possible in order to provide security of tenure.
You should note that the right to buy is not available under assured tenancies.
The Initial Demolition Notice does not mean that demolition is about to start. Demolition can only start after planning permission has been granted AND after a Final Demolition Notice has been issued. The Final Demolition Notice will only be issued once the Council has a clear programme and timetable for the scheme and it is known that the property will be demolished within 2 years. We don’t expect any demolition to start until 2019 at the earliest.
Homeowner: You can continue to use your property as you were doing before you received an Initial Demolition Notice.
Tenants: An Initial Demolition Notice does not affect your rights and responsibilities as laid out in the tenancy agreement, other than the ‘Right to Buy’. A Right to Buy (RTB) application can be made but these applications will not be completed while the Initial Demolition Notice is in force.
You can still make a Right to Buy (RTB) application when an Initial Demolition Notice is in effect on your home, but the sale process will be suspended until either a Final Demolition Notice has been served or the Initial Demolition Notice has lapsed. The Council needs to issue the Initial Demolition Notice to allow the regeneration scheme to build more and better homes to continue.
If you have established a valid claim to exercise the Right to Buy before an Initial Demolition Notice is served, you have 3 months in which to claim compensation for reasonable expenditure connected with the conveyancing process, such as legal or survey fees.
If you move to a new home built by Homes for Lambeth on the estate, you would not have the Right to Buy under the Lifetime Assured Tenancy. This is because Homes for Lambeth can’t give Secure tenancies.
However, if you move to an existing Council property off the estate, your secure tenancy would include the Right to Buy unless for example the home you move to is exempt, for example sheltered accommodation. As the Key Guarantees are in effect you can bid for properties via the choice based lettings system with the highest ‘Band A’ priority status.
The proposal is to fully rebuild the estate. This means all existing homes will be replaced and rebuilt to a high standard, and a mixture of new homes will be built as well.
Secure tenants will get a brand new home with an Assured Lifetime Tenancy, still paying council level rent and resident homeowners will have a range of options so that they can continue living on the estate. The Key Guarantees explain exactly what this means for you, whether you are a tenant or a homeowner.
All new homes will meet the Homes for Lambeth design standards. They will be well designed with a good layout and space standards – including outside space – and the homes will be accessible, with high-energy performance standards.
See http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk/design for more details.
The rebuilding would be phased so that most residents can move straight into a new home.
Due to the relatively low density of Central Hill estate, the number of homes overall will increase. The exact number will be agreed through the design and planning process, and could range from a potential 500 to 750 additional homes.
There will be a mix of new homes on the rebuilt estate – homes for private rent or sale will help pay for the extra homes at council level rent, as well as replacing the existing 320 council homes.
Why didn’t Central Hill have Lambeth Housing Standard refurbishment works, as most other estates in Lambeth did?
Lambeth has a substantial shortfall in funding to deliver the LHS programme – and this does not include costs for Central Hill. If redevelopment does not go ahead we cannot tell residents when any refurbishment works could happen.
The estimated average cost of refurbishing a council tenanted home on Central Hill is over £44,000 – based on 2015 prices. Elsewhere in Lambeth, the average cost is around £16,000 per tenanted home.
Refurbishing homes on Central Hill does not therefore represent value for money for the council and means that there would be less money available to spend on improving other homes in the borough.
If the council has no money, why has it been doing up flats on the estate including nearly full refurbishments?
Until there is a decision on the future of Central Hill, properties will be brought up to the council’s lettable standard and let in the normal way. These works are not as comprehensive as LHS refurbishment works but will give families a much-needed affordable home.
Have you looked at any alternative proposals for Central Hill? Which possibilities have you considered and why have you ruled them out?
A wide range of alternative proposals have been identified and assessed comprehensively.
Refurbishment, infill and refurbishment, partial rebuilding and a proposal from Architects for Social Housing (ASH) were considered in detail. But no other proposals represented value for money for the council or provided as many homes as full redevelopment would. Full explanations are given in the booklet, “The future of the Central Hill estate”.
If the rebuilding plans go ahead, Lambeth tenants will:
- Be guaranteed a new home on the estate with an Assured Lifetime Tenancy at council level rents OR be entitled to apply for a transfer to another council property with highest priority (Band A) maintaining a secure tenancy with the council.
- Be able to move into a new property that meets your needs and will be more energy efficient than your current home.
- Receive a home loss payment of £5,800 and the reasonable costs of moving to your new home – a disturbance payment.
There is more information in the council’s Key Guarantees.
If the rebuilding plans go ahead, resident homeowners will:
- Be given the opportunity to stay on the estate and will be offered a range of options depending on your personal financial circumstances.
- Not be required to contribute to major refurbishment costs.
- Have their home valued by an independent surveyor, based on market values, and will get an additional 10% on top of this (a home loss payment).
- Be able to move into a new home that will be more energy efficient than your current home.
Secure tenants will not be worse off in terms of the number of bedrooms in your current home, whether you choose to move into a new home on the rebuilt estate or take ‘Band A’ status and move into another council or housing association home of your choice in Lambeth. Tenants who are under-occupying by two rooms or more will be required to downsize.
Tenants with adult children living at home will be able to keep the same number of bedrooms as they currently have, unless this leaves them under-occupying, in which case they will be offered a new home with one bedroom above their need (Lambeth Housing Allocation Scheme 2013). For instance, a single person with an adult child living in a 3-bed can move to another 3-bed, but a single person with adult child living in a 4-bed would have to move to a 3-bed.
Homeowners choosing to move into a new home on the estate would not be worse off in terms of the number of bedrooms in their current home, unless they choose to downsize.
Rents will still be set in exactly the same way as council rents.
As you will be living in a newer property with a higher value – your rent could increase – as council level rents are in part calculated using the value of the property itself. Any increase in rents will be phased in over 5 years and you would still be able to apply for Housing Benefit to cover the rent.
There is more information in the council’s Key Guarantees.
If you move to a new home with an Assured Lifetime Tenancy, you will not have the Right to Buy. If you want to keep your Right To Buy you can move to an existing council property off the estate, with a secure tenancy.
Will residents have to move off the estate while building work is going on? Where to and for how long?
The majority of secure tenants and resident homeowners should be able to move straight into a new home on the estate rather than move twice. As part of the masterplanning process we will work with residents on a phasing programme to ensure this can happen. Where this is not possible, some residents may be rehoused outside of the estate until their new home is ready, this will be in Lambeth and in a home suitable for their needs.
Homes for Lambeth will be a new company set up by the council and wholly owned by the council. The company will be able to borrow money which the council can’t. It will access this money to build more and better homes in Lambeth to meet the growing demands for homes in the borough.
Homes for Lambeth will allow the council to build homes for council level rent, intermediate rent and private rent, all with long tenancies and rent level stability. It will also build some homes for outright sale.
Council level rent properties will be let with Assured Lifetime Tenancies matching, as closely as possible, existing council tenancies with rent levels set in the same way as for existing council properties, at about a third of market rent through Homes for Lambeth’s own Housing Association.
With the council acting as a developer through Homes for Lambeth we can use the 15-20% development surplus that private developers normally make and reinvest this into our communities and build more homes for local people, putting local people before private profit.
Technically yes, but Homes for Lambeth will be set up to safeguard the council’s long term commitment to prioritising the needs of Lambeth’s communities.
In addition to this the council will require that any proposed sale of part, or all of Homes for Lambeth (and any of its companies) be subject to a ‘triple lock’ of approvals:
- A unanimous vote of full Cabinet; and,
- A two-thirds vote of approval full Council; and,
- A unanimous agreement of the Homes for Lambeth Board.
Homes for Lambeth will be required to take on the commitments made by the council through the Key Guarantees.
A decision will be made by the council’s Cabinet in December 2016.
If a decision is made to redevelop Central Hill estate, there would still be a lot of detailed planning to do. Lambeth tenants and resident homeowners could start to move next year under the Key Guarantees, but for most people it will depend on how the rebuilding is phased.
The next step would be to select a team to develop detailed plans for the estate including a phasing plan and residents will be involved in this.
Will the Council continue maintaining, repairing properties while we are waiting for the redevelopment work to start?
Repairs and maintenance will continue as normal, but there will be no major investment taking place in the near future. Where significant works do take place, leaseholders will be liable for Section 20 bills to cover their share of these works.