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Khan publishes guide to estate regeneration

Words: Laura Edgar
Estate regeneration / iStock

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has proposed that mandatory balloting of residents living in estates where demolition is planned should take place if he is to provide funding for the development.

Better Homes for Local People sets out Khan’s guidelines for estate regeneration in the capital. It has been published following a consultation.

A statement from the mayor’s office states that while Khan has “limited sway” on estate regeneration, he is “determined to use his funding and planning powers to the fullest extend to protect social housing and give its residents a voice”.

Khan hopes his guide will empower tenants, leaseholders and freeholders in developing regeneration plans with their landlords.

Ballots were first suggested in the mayor’s draft good practice guide in December 2016 and has since been developing plans to make ballots a condition of future City Hall funding for new estate regeneration projects.

The guide lays out what Khan thinks Londoners living on social housing estates should expect from their landlord when regeneration is proposed, with consultation and involvement from the beginning “crucial”.

If demolition is proposed, the mayor wants councils and housing associations to 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.

Khan will use his draft London Plan to ensure that there is no net loss of social housing and an increase in affordable homes wherever possible.

He said: “My guide sets out how I will use my investment powers in a way they have never been used before, by requiring resident support through a ballot for new plans involving demolition where City Hall funding is involved.    

“I want to make sure people living on social housing estates, who have the greatest interest in their future, are at the heart of any decisions from the outset. By involving residents and putting social housing first, we can make sure plans for estate regeneration help build a city for all Londoners.”

Both Lib Peck, leader of Lambeth Council, and Lord Bob Kerslake, chair of Peabody housing association, welcomed the guide.

Peck said: “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.

“We will continue to work closely with the mayor on building more and better homes for local people as we tackle the London housing crisis together.”

Information on the guide and consultation on the ballot proposals can be found on the Greater London Authority website.

Image credit | iStock