Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Pensions secretary claims association is acting like a ‘property speculator’

IDS disputes L&Q's social housing provider status

The secretary of state for work and pensions has threatened to challenge London & Quadrant’s status as a social housing provider.

Iain Duncan Smith has warned 66,000-home L&Q that he will contact communities secretary Eric Pickles to question its housing association status if it refuses to meet a millionaire keen to redevelop Walthamstow dog track in east London.

L&Q bought Walthamstow Stadium in 2008 but does not plan to build social homes on the site due to viability concerns after the government ended capital grant for social rent. Mr Duncan Smith claims L&Q is acting like a ‘property speculator’.

The MP for Chingford and Woodford Green is backing investor Bob Morton who is offering L&Q £16 million for the site to re-open it as a dog track.

L&Q received planning consent for a 294-home development on the site from Waltham Forest Council in May. The plans have been referred to the mayor of London.

L&Q does not want to sell the land and is refusing to meet Mr Morton.

Mr Duncan Smith said: ‘They absolutely must meet. If they don’t then I would have to go back to the secretary of state to question their right and status as social housing providers.’

Mr Pickles has no power to order the de-registration of a housing provider. However, the regulator can de-register an association if it no longer meets criteria, which includes the provision of homes for below market rents. Mr Duncan Smith has attacked L&Q for including just 60 homes for affordable rent, and none for social rent in its plans, although the government has effectively ended support for new social housing. A spokesperson for L&Q said its plans would bring £50 million of investment into Waltham Forest.

Readers' comments (64)

Comments are only open to subscribers of Inside Housing

Already a subscriber?

If you’re already a subscriber to Inside Housing, your subscription may not be linked to your online account. You can link your subscription from within the My Account section of the website and clicking on Link My Account.

Not yet a subscriber?

If you don't yet subscribe to Inside Housing, please visit our subscription page to view our various subscription packages.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

sign in register

Newsletter Sign-up

Related

Articles

  • IDS re-appointed to lead welfare cuts

    11 May 2015

    Iain Duncan Smith has been re-appointed as work and pensions secretary to oversee £12bn of fresh welfare cuts and push ahead with universal credit.

  • Delivery to quadruple after housing zone status award

    3 March 2015

    A housing association will build 2,300 more homes in a regeneration programme over the next decade than previously planned due to the scheme receiving housing zone status.

  • Hostel provider on housing regulator's 'watch list'

    20 January 2015

    A supported housing provider has been put on the English social housing regulator’s ‘watch list’ today, following concerns over its governance and financial viability.

  • Hostel provider 'breached regulatory standards'

    16 December 2014

    A small hostel operator has breached regulatory standards and is being helped by a larger landlord after finding it had ‘unanticipated’ liabilities.

  • The status quo will not help housing

    14/11/2014

    Policy Exchange got blood pressure rising this week by suggesting that landlords should be able to buy their way out of historic grant and become ‘free housing associations’, unrestricted by regulation.

Resources

  • Job interviews in housing: outside the box

    20 August 2014

    Some social landlords believe a traditional interview is not the way to find the best candidate for the job. Simon Brandon reports on how Bromford Group is using role-playing games to get to know prospective employees

IH Subscription