Estate Regeneration and ‘First Dibs’ for Londoners – has Mayor made the right call?
8 February 2018
Estate regeneration across London is not without controversy and recent events in both Haringey and Southwark have highlighted some of the challenges when working on complex schemes with multiple stakeholders, including residents and leaseholders.
It is into this mix that the Mayor has published not only his good practice guide on regeneration (Better homes for local people) but also his consultation paper on the proposed new funding condition to require resident ballots in estate regeneration.
The final version of the guide sets out the Mayor’s expectations for how local authorities and housing associations should engage with residents as part of estate regeneration schemes, as well as outlining his three Better Homes for Local People principles:
an increase in affordable housing
full rights to return or remain for social tenants
a fair deal for leaseholders and freeholders
In addition, the guide sets out how the Mayor intends to ensure these principals are implemented using his planning and funding powers. This includes outlining his support for the principle of requiring resident ballots in estate regeneration schemes which involve demolishing existing homes. The consultation on the use of ballots will be open until 5pm on Tuesday 3 April 2018.
At London First, we have previously considered the benefits estate regeneration can provide for existing and new communities. Our report last year set out a series of recommendations for policy makers on how they can improve estate regeneration across the capital. We will be revisiting this work after the local elections in May. If you would like to find out more please contact Mairead Carroll.
‘First Dibs’ for Londoners
The Mayor has announced a new initiative agreed with the Home Builders Federation and the g15 to restrict sales of all their new-build homes in the capital up to £350,000 to UK buyers only for three months before any overseas marketing can take place. The offer also involves Londoners, who live or work in the capital, being offered ‘first dibs’ exclusively for up to a month within this time period. The practicalities of this initiative will be developed over the coming months.
London First has been engaging with the GLA on this issue for some time, and while we think it is right for the Mayor to support Londoners priced out of the housing market, the capital’s housing crisis is built on a fundamental lack of supply, and only with a relentless commitment to freeing up more land and building more homes will we really find ways to tackle it.