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Let's talk about... the future of housing

Join our community conversation

Join the conversationFrom March to June this year, officers and councillors were out on the streets of Southwark asking residents what they thought about the future of council housing.

Nearly a thousand residents shared their views on what should be the future of council housing in Southwark; by attending one of over 70 community events or completing a survey online.

Officers have now analysed all the comments received and produced a report explaining the consultation findings. This report was presented to the council's cabinet on 13th July 2013.

The full consultation report can be viewed here and the cabinet report here.

What did the residents of Southwark say?

 

  • Residents told us that they want more council housing and that it should be of a good standard.
  • Council housing should be for those on low incomes and that it was important that people had a local connection to Southwark.
  • Many residents also stated that they thought lifetime tenancies were a good thing as they provided stability for households and the community as a whole.
  • Many respondents wanted more resident involvement in how council housing services are run (including more tenant management organisations (TMOs) where services are directly managed by tenants and leaseholders) and feel that the council, rather than external organisations, should provide the services.

Generally, many commented on rising rent and property prices in the private sector, the problem of losing properties through the Right to Buy and a lack of affordable housing meaning that younger generations may be forced to move away from Southwark and in turn their families and communities.

What now?

 

After listening to the residents of the borough and considering financial implications, the cabinet announced on Tuesday 16 July that it would build 10,000 new council homes over the next 30 years.

Leader of Southwark Council, Cllr Peter John, said:

"I'm incredibly proud to announce that Southwark Council will build 10,000 new council homes in the borough over the next 30 years. I can't overstate the significance of this decision, at a time when the trend is for council housing to be sold off more often than it is built, despite huge demand for affordable homes.

"We announced last year that we plan to build 1,000 new council homes in the next few years, and we are well on our way to delivering that plan. But frankly, even that large number of homes will barely scratch the surface of our 20,000-long housing waiting list, and we don't want to sit around waiting for an inevitable crisis to happen - we need to act now".

The Cabinet also tasked senior council officers to return to cabinet with proposals on how to increase resident involvement in managing council housing and, in particular, how to encourage more tenant management organisations; also to bring back an action plan for the continued improvement of leasehold management services and to undertake further detailed assessment of the financial performance of the council's housing assets.

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