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Lambeth Nu Town Hall news

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by PordenRdGroup, May 6, 2015.

  1. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure that is entirely fair. All housing associations these days work on a model where they provide private and PRS housing to subsidise the rented. They employ people who are capable of making that work. That's life. They still don't get paid as much as they would in the private sector.
     
  2. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Read the Southwark Notes article. HAs have moved far from there roots as rooted in communities to provide truly affordable social housing. Notting Hill Housing Trust was started by local church goers who wanted to do something to improve housing in Notting Hill.
    The housing association movement has lost it's way.
     
    Casaubon likes this.
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    "Life" is that so called "affordable rent" and shared ownership isn't really affordable.
     
  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I've been following the Elephant and Castle fiasco. Notting Hill Housing Trust have been heavily involved in that. Being flexible about what is affordable rent.

    Notting Hill comes clean on rents

     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  5. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I think you need to await national developments.

    It is possible (though not necessarily likely) that people will wake up to the the charade that is social housing policy at present. Corbyn's mooted speech about Britains world role leading to self harm is as yet unquantified. If Labour won the general election there would be all to play for in terms of reviving the council housing sector.

    Clearly this affordable rent thing is a farce. Looking at City AM it seems the net flow of immigration/emigration is now favouring city types fleeing to the EU. Which implies the gentrification business model may be in trouble. I predict that the Nu Town Hall will end up being a significant drain on Lambeth - because they will not now be able to generate enough income from sales of market price flats.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  6. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    There's no denying that, but then we live in a different world. When founded their funding generally came from philanthropy or charitable donations, but the world has changed since they began and it is very doubtful whether they could survive in this day and age on that model. Population has doubled, but on top of that society's attitude to housing has changed. The increase in marriage breakdown and growth of second or third families has added strain where it didn't exist previously - average occupancy per household has dropped from just under 5 in the late 19th century to 2.3 at last census. We need masses and masses of houses and they won't be built through charitable donations.

    A well run HA has a massive competitive advantage over a private developer as they can borrow against the value of their land bank and retained property portfolio. FWIW I agree that they ought to provide a greater proportion of "social rent" as opposed to the "affordable rent"; and viability assessments to prove otherwise are an absolute joke. HAs shouldn't be able to hide behind viability assessments - their competitive advantage should render viability irrelevant.
     
  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    I don't agree with your analysis.

    Since Housing Revenue accounts were ring fenced under Thatcher and stock transfers were introduced successive governments (and councils) have forced housing associations to behave and compete as property companies.

    HAs were originally designed to meet specific local needs (eg Solon for poor people in Clapham and Brixton - soon to be part of the Peabody Family conglomerate).
    If you think that to compete in a global capital market with land banks etc was what Solon was set up for I think you have got lost in the capitalist woods.

    I find it so disappointing that apparently reasonable people like the Liberal Democrats and the right-wing of the Labour Party are nowadays satisfied with believing that if you are a better technocrat you will solve the problem.

    In my opinion social housing ought to provide rented accommodation at a rent which does not require subsidy from Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. If it doesn't all we are providing is an extension of the buy to let market.

    Last night I was watching the Channel 4 programme "How to get a Council House" - which is really about very substandard buy-to-let landlords. Apart from making me feel better that my own badly maintained property is not a least full of black mould and cockroaches I was left wondering - what is the point of calling a programme "How to get a Council House" when what the programme is really about is how to persuade slum landlords not to evict difficult tenants. Or how to prevent council subsidised tenants making themselves homeless from bad accommodation in Hounslow, because the alternative would be slightly better accommodation in Birmingham.

    The current system is rotten - and will take years to put right. It won't be put right by Notting Hill Housing Association borrowing against it's land bank though. Especially if the Americans put interest rates back up to a more normal level.
     
  8. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    My point wasn't that HAs were set up with the intention of being run along these lines, more that they have evolved into operating these models through circumstances. It isn't a coincidence that many of their top level people now come from (often failed) private developer/contractor backgrounds and so feel more comfortable working in the way that private developers/contractors have always worked.

    These organisations are now behemoths in the contractor/developer world - they have huge offices and employ thousands, but it has taken a long time to get to that point. Councils no longer have the technical ability or setup to be able to run these sorts of programmes, and to bring everything back in house would take many years. In the building world everything takes many years to implement; if we were to think about going down that route then there would be risk of almost total cessation of social building in the short to medium term if HAs were to react by shifting emphasis to providing more private while LAs were still gearing-up to provide social.

    There is a place for HAs as an alternative, but I believe that they should be subject to more stringent planning/affordability criteria as the quid pro quo for the inherent advantages of their business model.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
    CH1 likes this.
  9. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  10. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

  11. Twattor

    Twattor Well-Known Member

    I think you're basing this on a false premise. The number that Lambeth would have plugged into the OJEC to indicate the works cost isn't a true "budget". Typically it would be significantly lower than they expect to spend simply to make the tenderers price the works keenly. Moreover it would relate to the construction cost rather than the development cost (so would exclude such costs as the purchase of Fridge Bar). It would be very unlikely to bear any relationship to Lambeth's true budget for the works.
     
    lang rabbie, snowy_again and teuchter like this.
  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Discussion of what true cost is all very well. But the average Joe like me will see that Lambeth is saying that the project will be self financing and wonder what all these new increasing figures are about. And it does look like the promised affordable housing is going to be reduced.
     
  14. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I m assuming the deal with Muse is that they would do all the works and get out of it housing to sell at market values.
     
  15. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    What does the Labour website mean by saying the Lib Dem council squandered £26 million buying Phoenix House at the peak of the property boom?
    I assume Labour would have preferred to have stayed in the old Mary Seacole House - allegedly beyond repair at the time?

    Now of course the whole Clapham library/sports centre/housing complex is a masterpiece of Blairite PFI - where comrades celebrated 30 years since the Ted Knight regime suffered disqualification from office.

    Personally I'm very disillusioned with getting straight facts out of this administration. Of course it is historic information now, but it would be interesting from a purely intellectual point of view to know what the truth is about Mary Seacole House and Phoenix House in 2002.

    I am pretty sure however that the council never bought Phoenix House. They probably took a 10 year lease on Phoenix House offices, which is now coming to an end.

    Does anyone know different?
     
    ricbake, Gramsci and Tricky Skills like this.

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