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CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Hi All,

New to this and hope this is the right thread to post my question and experience. I am currently in the homeless pathway for women which is managed by St Mungo's The Broadway. I am already on the housing list in band C2 and bid weekly. I have been advised by CAB who made enquiries for me that should I moved onto the "PRAS" (Private Rented ? Scheme) I would be placed in a private accommodation with a Housing Benefit rent cover guarantee for two years. I would also be placed on the higher bidding band B. My worries here are, what happens after 2 years? and well does going along with this really set me up in a better position to bid?

However, after speaking to one of the area managers today from the charity I was told that they've flat out been told in area meetings with Lambeth Council that "there is no social housing for your clients" and the person themselves said "there is no social housing in Lambeth". I asked if I could look to neighbouring boroughs and was told "no" as I don't have a connection. I have family connection in social housing in Kensington and Chelsea but ha! that's less likely. I appreciate that there are market forces at play regarding the "trendy Brixton" movement, which is why I am happy to look at neighbouring boroughs.

But it's really confusing to know what to do. Some people have refused the PRAS pathway and eventually got given a direct offer, however their circumstances where more extreme than mine. So I would like some advice of what to do.

Lost in the Maze
I know nothing at all about this subject - but I have a friend who was in a hostel in Kenbury Street SE5 for about 2 years and eventually got a lovely flat in St George Wharf at Vauxhall - a social housing part of the development managed by Notting Hill Housing.

I'm not saying is is easy - after all I would describe 2 years of bidding as persistent effort on my friend's part. But he did manage it.
He got his flat 2 years ago.

My feeling is he would have been less likely to have got his successful offer if he had moved out of the hostel into private rented. But as I say I am just articulating a hunch. Maybe someone else can advise you with benefit of full knowledge of the system.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Hi All,

New to this and hope this is the right thread to post my question and experience. I am currently in the homeless pathway for women which is managed by St Mungo's The Broadway. I am already on the housing list in band C2 and bid weekly. I have been advised by CAB who made enquiries for me that should I moved onto the "PRAS" (Private Rented ? Scheme) I would be placed in a private accommodation with a Housing Benefit rent cover guarantee for two years. I would also be placed on the higher bidding band B. My worries here are, what happens after 2 years? and well does going along with this really set me up in a better position to bid?

However, after speaking to one of the area managers today from the charity I was told that they've flat out been told in area meetings with Lambeth Council that "there is no social housing for your clients" and the person themselves said "there is no social housing in Lambeth". I asked if I could look to neighbouring boroughs and was told "no" as I don't have a connection. I have family connection in social housing in Kensington and Chelsea but ha! that's less likely. I appreciate that there are market forces at play regarding the "trendy Brixton" movement, which is why I am happy to look at neighbouring boroughs.

But it's really confusing to know what to do. Some people have refused the PRAS pathway and eventually got given a direct offer, however their circumstances where more extreme than mine. So I would like some advice of what to do.

Lost in the Maze
In terms of actual available local authority social housing (i.e. a council flat or house), your informants are being reasonably honest: There's been a net loss of local authority social housing in Lambeth every year for at least the last 15 years, so you have to be very lucky indeed to get a place, even given the promised "1,000 extra homes for social rent" promise Lambeth Council have made.

With housing associations and private rental, although your chances are better, they're still not brilliant. That's purely down to the lack of available affordable housing supply measured against demand. The whole "two years" thing is part of a lamebrained central government idea that slightly more secure tenure through govt guarantees will give local authorities more leverage when re-negotiating your rent after the two years is up.

You might have better luck with Southwark, but even then, they've not only lost supply to "Right to Buy", but also due to their projects at Heygate, Aylesbury and a couple of other estates.
 

Celyn

Well-Known Member
Will the "Right to Buy" thing continue to exist in England? Oh, I suppose that's not the important issue here.

I would go for the 2 years thing, myself, but I know it's a horrible situation to be in. I really hope you can have a home soon.:)
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Will the "Right to Buy" thing continue to exist in England? Oh, I suppose that's not the important issue here.
It's a massively-important issue, insofar as it's a major route through which the Tories will continue to dissolve public/social housing as we know it. I'd even go as far as saying that the govt will extend the size of "discount" for local authority and housing association tenants wanting to exercise/having little financial choice but to exercise RtB.
Apart from RtB, local authority social housing stock will also be relentlessly thinned through the legislation to force local authorities to sell any so-called "prime" social housing they own - effectively, in some parts of London this will mean (due to high price inflation for housing) that every time a 3 or even 2 bedroom property becomes void, the council will have to sell it.
 

HOUSINGMAZE

New Member
Hey thanks so much for responding. I guess it really would be useful to know if going for temporary private housing under the LA scheme would in fact lessen or improve my chances. On paper, and direct advice given by Lambeth is that it would place me in a higher bidding band. But I would really like to get some more advice on this, is there any organisation that may know the answers?

Talking more broadly on social housing stock, part of me feels like someone specifically should be held accountable for not "clocking in" essential paperwork as part of local development deals that had previously promised to deliver a set percentage of housing stock. I feel if we start to ferociously make individual people responsible less of these things would happen. I have lost patience with workers too at DWP or Local Authorities who are "just following orders". There needs to be a social and legal obligation to act responsibly regardless of what you are being made to do. And if that makes them worried about losing their jobs they ought to unionise.
 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
TUES 5 Jan: Demonstration against the Housing Bill
The government is rushing the Housing Bill through parliament. It looks set to destroy social housing as we know it, forcing councils to sell off their homes, replacing lifetime tenancies with 2 year ones, introducing market rents for all but those on the lowest incomes and funneling government support into unaffordable ‘starter homes’ rather than the new social housing we need. It will also make it easier for private landlords to evict tenants, and remove provision for travellers.

The next debate on the bill is on 5 January. Join the rolling demonstration outside parliament from 12 noon, followed by a Kill the Housing Bill campaign meeting inside from 5pm (allow 30 mins to get through security)


 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
Got this from Lambeth Housing Activists:

Around 200 people took part in the protest today outside parliament against the Housing Bill. 100 more joined John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and housing campaigners inside parliament this evening for a protest meeting.

There is a real sense of urgency now about building this campaign and getting the widest possible involvement to stop the Tories doing away with social housing for good.

At the conference 'Another Lambeth is Possible' before Christmas we agreed to organise a march against the Bill, specifically from Lambeth, and we have now called it for Saturday the 30th of January.
Assembling at 12noon at the Imperial War Museum and marching to Downing Street for 2pm

Other groups are discussing marching to join us from other parts of the city and there will also be a Kill the Housing Bill organising meeting from 11am to 1pm on Saturday 16 January at the Unite offices at 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN.

So please sign up on Facebook to join the Lambeth March against the Housing Bill and please share it widely or forward the leaflet text below to your email lists.


I attach a leaflet people can print off for friends and neighbours.

Keep up to date with plans for the day on our website - www.housingactivists.co.uk

Or join our googlegroup where we do a lot of our organising leafletting etc (just email back and ask to be added)


Text of leaflet - please email it to all your organisations, friends etc

March against the Housing Bill

Saturday 30th January

Imperial War Museum 12pm(Kennington rd/Lambeth rd)

March to Cameron’s publicly funded home in

Downing Street for 2pm


The Housing Bill marks the end of social housing:

The end of secure lifetime tenancies. Council tenancies will be for 2 to 5 years with no right to pass it on to your children.

Landlords will have access to tenant’s personal income information and if households start to earn over £40,000 (a couple on the living wage) they will be hit with a PAY-TO-STAY TAX for the difference between their social rent and the market rent – in Waterloo that would be an average of £26,000.

Local authorities will be forced to sell ‘high value’ properties whenever they come vacant – what flat in London is not high value? Housing association tenants will get the right to buy, so reducing stock further.

Private renters and travellers will have reduced housing rights.

Developers will have to build ‘starter homes’ for sale instead of ‘affordable’ homes for rent. Starter homes will be worth up to £450,000 and sold at a 20% discount – but only to people with enough money to get that kind of a mortgage!


Join the march, lobby your MP, spread the word and kill this bill.

More info on housingactivists.co.uk or radicalhousingnetwork.org.

Contact info@architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk or 07834 828 292 to help.


Called by Lambeth Housing Activists, Architects for Social Housing & Streets Kitchen (Look for us all on Facebook)

 

Gramsci

Well-Known Member
More info on the effect of the Housing Bill here. "The End of Council Housing"

Among the bill’s scores of proposals are a few that cut straight to the heart of what council housing has traditionally been all about. For a start, the government wants to end the system of permanent council tenancies – which was cemented while Margaret Thatcher was in power – and replace it with arrangements that will be reviewed every two to five years, meaning that for new tenants, council housing will no longer represent anything secure or dependable, let alone be passed between generations.

There are also plans to introduce a policy for council tenants known as pay to stay, whereby households that collectively earn more than £30,000 a year (£40,000 in London) could be presented with a choice: either move out, or be charged rents “at market or near market levels” (or, weirdly enough, work less). At the same time – and this is where it all gets almost comically complicated – so as to subsidise housing associations that will now have to sell houses and flats under a newly extended right-to-buy scheme, councils are to be forced to sell their highest-value homes as soon as they become vacant.

Also good piece by Chakrabortty


This isn’t a serious housing policy. It represents nothing less than a death blow to council housing in central London, and a full-throttle attack on tenants in social housing everywhere. It will hand to big developers tens of billions in taxpayers’ money – for building “affordable” housing that most Britons simply cannot afford. This is ideology at its purest: the thinnest of rhetoric draped around a naked transfer of money and resources from the poor to the rich.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Housing Bill - continued (watching live Tuesday 12th 2.10pm)
Mark Field (Con) - City of London
Bit of a lefty for the Tories - contrasting HA vs private rented in Pimlico [thinks private rents insupportably high and that giving HA tenants right to buy is very unjust in London in that people who already have a subsidised rent given a massive subsidy to buy which is likely to end up with the property then rented out privately].
Mark Field sounded like a more left-wing version of Frank!

immediately followed by Helen Hayes (Dulwich and East Brixton)
She read her speech again - but got quavering and emotional about poor housing conditions in the private sector.
Could not get much of it as I was typing the above.

Now its the turn of Stephen Hammond (Con) - Wimbledon. This man comes across as a mercenary c*nt. May shortly be reaching for the OFF switch.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Tim Farron (Lib Dem leader) flooded area in Cumbria attacking HA right to buy - says the measures in the bill give a choice of either a quick or slow death for social housing. Clearly the bill is designed get rid of social housing.
Farron is proposing an amendment to require a replacement home of the same tenure to be provided before a home is sold off. (amendment 109)
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Part of today's Sunday Politics was about social housing in Brixton and Bermondsey.

They walked Pastor Mimi Asher, erstwhile Myatts Fields resident and opponent of gang culture, round the new Angell Town area with two of her charges. She was allegedly of the opinion that Myatts Fields being knocked down was a good thing (this was stated by a narrator), although it was pointed out that new build on Oval Quarter cost £800,000 per house to buy.

This was not an in depth interview, more of a quickie BBC canter through the issues without discussion.

Naturally the studio pundits (Labour MP for Bermondsey and Tory Mp for Hendon) managed to turn it into a party political blame and credit game within microseconds. What a shame there was no proper exploration of the issues and history.
 
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CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
(Lord) Victor Adebowale (Crossbencher) disussing adverse effects of Housing Bill - especially wrt Housing Co-ops, special needs housing (Mental Health & addiction recovery)

This is on internet only (very democratic, eh?)

Up till now I heard Baroness Thornhill of Watford (LD) - reasonably good (maiden) speech.

Outstanding was Bishop of St Albans, who went through all the issues regarding forced sale of HA properties, esp wrt rural areas. V Good on non affordability of affordable housing. Social housing needed- definitely NOT starter homes to buy.
 

CH1

"Red Guard"(NLYL)
Had anyone heard of new social rent homes on the Fenwick Estate?

Me neither - but Lambeth are trumpeting it on their Twitter feed:

This seems to be a TFL profect connected with Northern Line redevelopments at Nine Elms.

Still Lambeth "communications" department are never slow to blow their own trumpet.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
Had anyone heard of new social rent homes on the Fenwick Estate?

Me neither - but Lambeth are trumpeting it on their Twitter feed:

This seems to be a TFL profect connected with Northern Line redevelopments at Nine Elms.

Still Lambeth "communications" department are never slow to blow their own trumpet.
This will be the new homes built on the site of the old homes, I expect, given that Lambeth posted a public demolition notice about 4 months ago. :(
 

Walker

New Member
Seems not. It's like with Cressingham - demolition of 300 homes (210-ish still social housing), and building of 158 new homes only produces a net gain of 23 extra social homes.
I'm pretty sure Fenwick is another "demolish, rebuild more densely, flog off/private rent the surplus" venture.
The Lambeth tweet refers to the new buildings along the railway line, at Clapham North. Luckily, this will not involve demolition of any homes.

Those buildings are just the start. Some info is here:
Fenwick

Lambeth is very quiet about many aspects of this regeneration project. On the surface, it seems like it ticks off all of the boxes: 'public engagement', 'affordable housing', etc. On a better look, things stop adding up. Such as - the new housing units will be 60% more expensive then current homes: which means, for example, that a mortgage-free freeholder wishing to stay on the estate would have to take mortgage again. Lambeth avoids the term luxury flats.

Having spoken to the architects, I understand that the intention is to demolish all of the estate (including freehold properties) and to replace those with those square tall high density units.
No final decision had been taken, therefore the number of homes it will create is unknown. Decision is due in the next month or so.
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
The Lambeth tweet refers to the new buildings along the railway line, at Clapham North. Luckily, this will not involve demolition of any homes.

Those buildings are just the start. Some info is here:
Fenwick

Lambeth is very quiet about many aspects of this regeneration project. On the surface, it seems like it ticks off all of the boxes: 'public engagement', 'affordable housing', etc. On a better look, things stop adding up. Such as - the new housing units will be 60% more expensive then current homes: which means, for example, that a mortgage-free freeholder wishing to stay on the estate would have to take mortgage again. Lambeth avoids the term luxury flats.

Having spoken to the architects, I understand that the intention is to demolish all of the estate (including freehold properties) and to replace those with those square tall high density units.
No final decision had been taken, therefore the number of homes it will create is unknown. Decision is due in the next month or so.
Not being cynical, but don't kid yourself that a decision hasn't been made. While talking to the cabinet "member" for housing last week, he claimed that by 2018, 300 new affordable homes, and 200 new homes for social rent will have been completed in the borough. He wouldn't be publicly touting those numbers if they hadn't already made decisions regarding the fate of the 6 "regen" estates - although I suspect that the total includes Somerleyton, because the business model for the six estates doesn't produce enough (Cressingham's densification alone will only include 25% affordable (38) and 15% social rent (23) out of over 150 new homes).
They've already decided to kebab us, they're just getting their ducks in a row - i.e. rigging everything in their favour, including oversight and cabinet approval - before shooting us.
 
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