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Agenda item

New Homes Programmes - New Homes, Better Places Update

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

 

Minutes:

4.1      Jeff Endean (Housing Programmes and Strategy Team Manager), gave a presentation to the meeting. The key points to note were:

 

§  The Committee received an overview of the report that was available to Members as part of the agenda papers.

§  29 schemes have been identified for developing new homes, all of which are different stages. Ongoing site reviews and capacity studies will continue to identify potential locations for the construction of new homes and develop options for these. The results of this process will then be used to create schemes for development, and further schemes will come forward until the target of 500 new Council homes under construction is met.

§  The current programme represents the sites with the greatest potential for the delivery of new homes. These sites also include plans for the conversion of existing non-residential assets into social housing.

§  There is a completed development at Mercator Road: the construction of four 3-bed and two 2-bed houses was completed in February, with those properties let to households on the housing register in March 2015.

 

4.2      In response to questions from the Committee, the following was noted:

 

§  Social rent is regarded to be approximately 40-50% of market value.

§  The Council are prioritising 2-bedroom properties and some family homes.

§  Those properties targeted for ‘outright sale’ are in highly sellable areas in the borough, and the lower estimate would be approximately £300,000 per unit.

§  Some of the Registered Housing Providers stated at the March 2015 meeting that the position of the South East London Housing Partnership is that 75% of properties that are 2-bedrooms and above should be made available for the Local Authority. Lewisham’s position is that 100% of nominations should be made available, where possible.

§  The Council is developing its strategy on new builds as it gains more knowledge of the housing stock and gains more experience in this area, for example, it will look at increasing the density of properties in more areas than previously thought. It will ensure the best outcome in light of resources, commercial realities and planning risk.

§  The Council is trying to help increase properties for temporary accommodation with initiatives such as the pop-up village in Ladywell, and purchasing properties such as Hamilton Lodge. There are still other instruments it will need such as discharging into the private rented sector, but the new properties will make a contribution.

§  The policy of ‘discharging temporary homeless into the private rented sector’ has been agreed by Mayor and Cabinet and officers are now looking at the policies that need to be put in place to implement the policy.

§  Since this was last discussed at this Committee, there have been two court cases: one, where a mother of five children won her legal case to prevent Westminster Council from rehousing her family in Milton Keynes; and another involving Southwark Council and their assessment of homelessness, so more development is needed before the changes are implemented.

§  All Members are welcome to visit the constructed sites and help promote the work being carried to provide more affordable housing in the borough.

§  The pop-up village planned for Ladywell is based on the YMCA ‘Y-Cube’ project design.

 

4.3       RESOLVED: That the Committee note the report.

 

Supporting documents: