Saturday, 23 August 2014

Southwark plans 1,000 council homes by 2020

Southwark Council announced today it has set itself a target to build 1,000 new council homes – averaging 100 a year - before 2020.

The south London local authority plans to use spaces in Southwark which are underused, vacant or problematic, such as garage spaces, for large-scale development.

The homes will be council-funded and managed giving greater control over rents and management. The council hopes to use the homes for local residents in priority need, allowing it to re-let existing homes and create better mobility on estates.

It also believes it will help it provide housing appropriate to people’s needs, including larger properties for families and wheelchair adapted homes for disabled people.

Leader of Southwark Council Peter John said: ‘We are absolutely committed to delivering more high quality, genuinely affordable council homes for Southwark, which is why we have ambitious plans to build 1,000 in Southwark by 2020.

‘Over the past year we have already delivered 600 affordable homes in Southwark, but no one else is talking about building council homes on this scale.’

The council has received successful returns from regeneration and development projects, he said, and it would make economic sense to plough this back into council housing.

‘This will provide a secure and sustainable answer to the problem of an ever-rising housing waiting list,’ Mr John said.

‘It will also mean we can avoid a situation where Southwark residents have to move out of the borough to find an affordable property.’

The first proposed site for new homes to be built is at the former Borough and Bankside housing office site on Long Lane, SE1. Consultation on the building of 25 to 30 new homes will begin after a report is submitted to the council’s cabinet in July 2012.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Matt Murdock

    Even better news is that the first new homes to be built will be handed to the Leathermarket JMB (a TMO) to manage.

    New build council housing and resident control!

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  • Chris

    Has the word 'extra' been left out of this good news story, or are these homes to replace the many thousands being demolished?

    If extra then great - shame they are not social homes though.
    If not extra then what a tragic loss of housing at a time of housing shortage.

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  • How many are social rent, did Southwark say?

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  • Matt Murdock

    All 1000 are for social rent. They will be owned and managed by the council (and TMOs) in the borough.

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  • Good to hear Southwark is doing something for its poorer people. Can't see Westminster borough doing that.

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  • Refreshing news. Congratulations to forward thinking Southwark. Little wonder with, because to this type of responsible and sensible policy, the current Director of Housing at Southwark left a leading south HA after a short spell. Reckon the current lot at the HA would cut their own throats with very blunt knives rather than get involved in such policies.

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  • This is GREAT news - well done Southwark. At long last, a sensible solution to the housing crisis. Let us hope this is just the beginning of a national renaissance in council housing. In spite of its problems (the late fifities and early sixties architectural fashions, the government enforced residualisation and run down in the 1980s and 1990s, out right dogmatic hostility during the Blair/Brown era) council housing has since the Homes Fit For Heroes movement provided millions of people with a decent, safe and affordable home. Something the market - and especially private and quasi-private rented housing has signally failed to do.

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  • This announcement needs to be seen in the context of the loss of the guarantee of 600 affordable homes from the Heygate regeneration at the Elephant & Castle. This guarantee was part of the Regeneration agreement with developers Lendlease, but has been quietly dropped from the outline planning application (AP-12-1092) lodged last week. Unlike the '1,000 new council homes' these were 'in the bag' so to speak, so I think a little scepticism is in order with this announcement.

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