Issue - meetings

Investing in better neighbourhoods and building the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth – Cressingham Gardens Estate

Meeting: 21/03/2016 - Cabinet (Item 3)

3 Investing in better neighbourhoods and building the homes we need to house the people of Lambeth – Cressingham Gardens Estate pdf icon PDF 597 KB

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Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Matthew Bennett, introduced the item and noted that it had been four years since the Council first started speaking to residents.  Lambeth council tenants deserved high quality, affordable homes that met people’s needs, and in 2012 Lambeth launched the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS) as an aspiration not a legal minimum.  The LHS programme cost £500m in 2012 with a £56m funding shortfall, increasing to a £85m shortfall in 2016, with a further £30m to come out in the next four years, and the Housing and Planning Bill would add further pressures.  This meant that not all estates could be refurbished, but the Council was committed to providing decent homes and was having to make difficult decisions in the wider public interest. 

 

Surveys on the estate highlighted higher than average costs of refurbishment, but the case for diverting funding from other estates had not been made and it was not fair to spend double the average LHS cost on the estate.  The refurbishment options were not favourable, but option 5 would see all current homes retained, with no loss of social housing, new homes for each tenant at council rent levels and enough bedrooms to meet the overcrowded conditions as reported by a quarter of residents.  47% of homes would be affordable properties at council rent levels with a lifetime tenancy; with 75 extra homes including 27 family sized homes.  The Council was committed to 1,000 extra homes to house the 21,000 persons or 1,800 families in temporary accommodation.  The consultation (page 223 of the agenda pack), detailed the breadth of opinion and Cabinet was in no doubt about the strength of feeling, but existing tenants would get the homes they need, and a full assessment of the People’s Plan (Appendix J of the appendices pack) was provided in Appendix E. 

 

Neil Vokes, Assistant Director for Housing Regeneration, highlighted paragraph 1.27 setting out the high court judgment and paragraph 1.30 setting out the new round of consultation.  All five options had been reconsidered by residents and the responses were provided in the agenda.  158 additional new homes were to be built; with paragraph 3.7 detailing the finances and positive cash-flow. 

 

Sue Foster, Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods and Growth, advised Cabinet to note the addendum, correcting paragraph 9 of the main report and paragraph 1.19 of Appendix A.

 

Cabinet received representations from the following residents and representatives: Gerlinde Gniewosz, Nicholas Greaves, Georgios Sidiropoulos, Chin Ong, Tom Keene, Andrew Plant, Ann Plant, Helen Carr, Ashvin De Vos, and Albere Hanna who made the following comments:

·         councillors and officers had come to workshops unprepared, needing details explained, and could not answer, or did not reply to questions and a full enquiry was requested into the financial models, due to the lack of transparency;

·         the People’s Plan was not considered in any detail and was rejected after a short review and analysis;

·         the Council’s response to the People’s Plan had been inaccurate and residents had not received questions in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3