11,000 new homes over 30 YEARS is nonsense because...

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Monday 10 March 2014 5.27pm
a) We have lost 15,000 council homes since 1994 and even if we freeze the losses we'll still be down -4000 at the end of 30 years!

b) We are losing 300+ properties from Right to Buy applications right now, and we are also selling voids to pay for much needed Major Works, so there will be no NET increase in council homes - we'll just be treading water...and slowly sinking

c) Whoever wins the 2014 election will keep selling void empty homes to pay for Major Works + there's not clarity that all forms of right to buy will stop

d) Stock sale (Heygate) and partial stock transfer (Aylesbury) removes 1,000's more homes from the stock too

e) 1,000s of council homes could be built at Canada Water however the Council have allowed British Land to end up controlling the leaseholds for a bargain amount of money!

f)over 50% of housing need is currently for one bedroom or studio size accommodation but Southwark focuses on "family size" accommodation

11,000 what? where? for who?

g)Over 9000 student dwellings will soon exist in Southwark, not in 30 years, but right here, right now.

h) 15,000 new homes since 2001 and if we stuck to 35% or 50% genuinely affordable homes affordable at median incomes (c.£10,000)then things would be different now.

And so on...It is such a dire mess! Residents will realise that "promising" 11,000 new council homes over the next 30 YEARS will not stop us sinking and they will know that council rents have more than doubled over a decade (with decent homes stuck at about 60%) and rents will double again sooner or later.
Tuesday 11 March 2014 10.24am
I have one quibble with this. We MUST have family homes, or the whole of London will be empty of children. They'll all be in the suburbs, and central London will be full of transient young people who, once they marry and have a family, will move away. No way to build a community.
Tuesday 11 March 2014 1.11pm
Hi Jackie, I could not agree more in principal. However, the new "family" homes we have built that are not controlled by the Council / RSL / Housing Association are far too often not occupied by families with children. Sharers, students and investors and so on - families of adults live in them. There's some research going on into that using Census 2011 and FOI Requests.

So we need to build "family" homes that are actually occupied by children. Not family homes occupied by families of adults.

Also, a recent Freedom Of Information request for my area showed far too many "family" sized home with single occupiers who have nowhere to go even if they wanted to.

So what do we do? Build more new family homes in the private sector that are occupied by whoever, or do we begin - finally - to genuinely work with residents and build new homes (carrots not sticks) that voluntarily free up as much family sized stock as possible?

By the way...In October 2013 they wrote 11,000 homes in 30 YEARS, and now they are saying 11,000 in 25 YEARS, so it changes by the month! It is all entirely made up. And shows the worst kind of electioneering in my view.

Southwark have also made new policy that designs social housing out of tall buildings (and therefore locations) and policy to ensure all studios are "private".

Grumpy I am about it!

All the best, Jerry
Tuesday 11 March 2014 10.09pm
Yes, I think it is about time Southwark Council told us how many properties they are going to build THIS year. I want to see a five year commitment, not a 30 year commitment; most of us will be dead and gone by then and won't be able to take them to account. I think they should also tell us how much is currently in the kitty.
Wednesday 12 March 2014 12.50pm
There are clear commitments - at least 1000 new council homes by 2020 - with 11,000 being delivered over the next 25/30 years. If this or any other government decide to invest in social housing we can deliver those 11,000 new council homes - at council rents - can be delivered sooner.

The homes that will be built will be of every size and variety - from one bed homes to family homes to extra-care housing for those facing health problems in later life.

We are currently on site or in advanced planning stage for 500 of the 1,000 new homes.

It sometimes seems to me that if we as a council had sat back and said nothing about building new council homes we would not be facing the complaints that we are currently receiving! The fact of the matter is that we have given a commitment which is greater than any other council in the country. And for those who doubt - we keep our commitments and pledges.

If you want to get involved in suggesting new sites for the delivery of new council housing on existing estates let me know. But a discussion about whether this is a real pledge is pointless - it is and it will happen in Southwark under a Labour Council.
Wednesday 12 March 2014 1.02pm
Well, that's us told!
Wednesday 12 March 2014 1.31pm
I do doubt you Peter & Southwark Labour.

National Labour is something I have more respect for - although I do wonder why Ed and Ed et had to advertise Lend Lease the other day, and why the Labour Party could not have advertised itself on TV and in the media by getting some £10 hard hats printed and the jackets. Instead, you all advertise what many - justified or not - take to be a rather greedy, secretive and dodgy bunch.

25/30 Years? Is it 25 or 30?

I think you know that we need 1000+ homes right now just for the homeless households, and the remainder of the 5000+ households in greater need over the 9,000+ others.

What a future Labour Southwark administration can deliver is constrained, as you well know, by whoever holds the purse strings at MOL, Government or wherever. Which is why Southwark Labour should not have made a "commitment" to 11,000 homes over 25 or 30 years. Many of us may not even be alive then anyway to congratulate you.

It's just made up. Clutching at straws. Some of the other achievements being twittered are fair enough, others are not.

You are receiving justified complaints because of the appalling handling of regeneration, planning and housing. And the arrogant defensive responses of those responsible."Commitments" and "promises" are words that mean next to nothing now: you forget about the voluntary introduction of the Economic Duty for example! I don't.

And the commitment Southwark Labour makes must be relative to Southwark being one of the biggest landlords in the Country: we would not expect the Isles of Scilly to build more than Southwark.

Lots of suggestions have been made over many years about sites for housing and approaches to housing - ask the Officers to check their correspondence! I except they will have "lost" it.

Here's a snippet I am putting into a FTT/LVT defence today for one of our leaseholders:

"Merging London County Councils stock with the Councilís in 1980 increased the councilís stock by a third, to 62,000 units."

62,000 units! Now we have a terrible crisis that has been made worse locally by Southwark's approach to it's own assets and land.

It's not so much that Cabinet et al did nothing, it also about how Cabinet et al did what it did since 2010, and what Cabinet is already planning to do going forward. E.g. in Planning Policy.

I expect that political opponents to Southwark Labour will make it hard for you to keep your commitment. Boris has just double time from 10 to 20 years - how does that now affect delivery of the 11,000?

And I am fully aware that Council rents have more than doubled in a decade, while non decent rates have remained high, and that the pledge to keep rent rises in line with inflation for the next four years is another commitment that depends on who wins in 2015. And our rents will rise and rise towards market.

By outcome, we all know Cabinet better now. And we know after four years that change needs to happen sooner or later. Change either within Labour itself or by Southwark Labour being booted out in May 14 or May 18 or whatever.

Edit: and I would add in a grumpy mood as I spend my time helping bullied leaseholders of the Council...

that Southwark Labour's leadership have also distinguished themselves by the friends and supporters that have been lost, and the friends and supporters that they've made over the last 4 years.
Wednesday 12 March 2014 1.32pm
at the risk of causing a stir, stop ALL immigration from any source who are entitled to be here until our tiny shrinking island consists of concrete new builds owned by overseas investors!
Wednesday 12 March 2014 1.43pm
I'm surprised that people questioned it at all, I don't think politicians would make such a widely discussed commitment without having at least some plan to deliver it (but maybe I'm just naive). I also don't like the hostility, we should tell politicians when they do something we like, not just be hostile over everything whatever it is, or how else will they know we are pleased with their proposals (and I, for one am pleased with building council homes, the only truly affordable housing in London).

Cllr John, can I ask about the Aylesbury. It seems an opportunity to find land to build on, at least for the later sites. Are there any plans for this?
Wednesday 12 March 2014 1.53pm
Zoe any "hostility" is often just being reciprocated. They have already planned the Aylesbury with NHHT, Barrat's and others. Yes, let's really hope that more council homes (at rents people earning £10-15,000 a year can afford) can be built there AND at Canada Water at Harmsworth Quays AND on the Shopping Centre Car Park! And all the other sites that could be available. Regards, Jerry
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