The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has published the first-ever City Hall guide to estate regeneration in London, setting out how he will protect social housing. The guide proposes mandatory ballots of residents for schemes where any demolition is planned as a strict condition of funding.
The Better Homes for Local People good practice guide is the first time any Mayor has set out strong guidelines on estate regeneration for the capital and follows an extensive and comprehensive consultation process. The guide seeks to empower tenants, leaseholders and freeholders in developing regeneration plans with their landlords.
There are estimated to be around 25 estate regeneration schemes underway at any one time in London involving funding from City Hall, and under the Mayor’s plans all such schemes would, in future, require a successful ballot outcome before their funding could be approved.
The Mayor’s guide explains what he believes Londoners living on social housing estates should expect from their landlords when regeneration is proposed — with full consultation and involvement from the outset being crucial. Where demolition is proposed, the Mayor wants to see councils and housing associations follow his Better Homes for Local People principles by providing: an increase in affordable homes, and as a minimum, no loss of social housing; full rights to remain or return for tenants; a fair deal for leaseholders and freeholders.
The Mayor wants to see these principles applied as widely as possible, and will use his draft new London Plan to ensure no net loss of social housing and an increase in affordable homes wherever possible. He will help make sure there is clear resident support for major schemes that involve any demolition through his proposed condition that Mayoral funding in future will be dependent on a positive resident ballot on landlords’ plans.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We need more social housing in London, not less, which is why I will use all my powers to make sure that any plans for estate regeneration protect existing social housing and take every opportunity to build more.”
Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council Leader, added: “I welcome the publication of the Mayor’s good practice guide to estate regeneration. Like him, we are committed in Lambeth to protecting our social housing, building more council homes and supporting all our residents.
“I fully support the Mayor’s view that residents must be at the heart of decision-making when it comes to estate regeneration, which reflects our approach in Lambeth.
“We’re building a new generation of estates with no loss of social housing and a guarantee of a new home for every resident on each rebuilt estate having secured the largest Mayoral grant funding of any London borough, without the involvement of private developers.
During its formal consultation last year, the draft version of the Mayor’s guide received more than 2,000 responses from Londoners, which showed strong support for his commitment to ensuring no loss of social housing in any estate regeneration programme, and looking to increase the amount of affordable housing whenever possible.