A campaigning comrade wrote recently to Lewisham Council to ask about the state of its Housing delivery programme, the reply included the following words,

Since the housing Strategy was adopted in 2015 we have been working to deliver on all 4 of the key objectives it sets out. We regularly report on the outcomes of this work to Lewisham’s Mayor and Cabinet, and those reports are probably the best updates on the Council’s progress.

The most recent report was presented on 6 December, and is available on the Council’s website here; New Homes Programme Update

I’ve set out the 4 key objectives of Lewisham’s Housing Strategy 2015-2020 below and noted a few key pieces of work that are  helping to achieve these objectives. This list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully provides a bit more context on the work the Council is doing to provide and improve housing in the borough.

Key objective 1: Helping residents at times of severe and urgent housing need


–   Building new Temporary Accommodation
The Council is committed to delivering new temporary accommodation in Lewisham to provide high-quality places to live for families when they are in urgent housing need. This strand of work includes PLACE/Ladywell which provided 24 new homes, and will deliver 94 new homes to provide temporary accommodation by 2018.
–   Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer
The Council is deliver an innovative Homelessness Prevention scheme that will use service data to identify households at risk of homelessness, and will  develop a range of support interventions for households at risk of homelessness to enable prevention activities to happen sooner. This approach started in early 2017 and has already proven successful.
–   No First Night Out
Working with Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich, the Council is leading on delivering the GLA’s rough sleeping programme for a No First Night Out (NFNO) Shared Accommodation Scheme. The scheme works with boroughs’ housing services and voluntary sector agencies to identify single people at imminent risk of rough sleeping, referring them to support services and a new NFNO Shared Accommodation Scheme. This will comprise 180 units of shared accommodation and work with over 300 people at risk of rough sleeping in South East London.
Key objective 2: Building the homes our residents need
–   500 New Council Homes
The Council is delivering 500 new Council homes for social rent across the borough. This work was started when the 6 new Council Homes, the first built for a generation, were delivered at Mercator Road in 2015. Since then a further 86 have been completed, with 121 currently being built and 295 working their way through the design and planning process. Lots more detail on the programme, including details of the sites is included in the report linked to above. Of particular note is the project on the Somerville Estate, that will deliver 23 new Council Homes on the site of the former Extra Care scheme, which is in the planning process now, with a decision expected in early 2018.
–   Delivering more affordable homes through partnerships with Housing Associations
By working with different housing associations, to enable and coordinate development across the borough, the Council will be bringing about 2000 new affordable homes in Lewisham by 2018.
–   Providing new homes through Estate Redevelopment
The Council is providing direct support to partners on long term Estate Redevelopment projects at Heathside & Lethbridge, Excalibur, Amersham Vale and the Old Tidemill School. This will deliver 1,902 new homes over 15 years, of which 929 (49%) are affordable.
Key objective 3: Greater security and quality for private renters
–   Besson Street
This scheme will set a standard for how the private rented sector in Lewisham should work. The Council will be working in partnership with Grainger to develop around 232 homes, including 35% affordable homes to be let at the ‘London Living Rent’, on a site at Besson Street in New Cross. ‘London Living Rent’ is a rent linked to median local incomes so that it remains genuinely affordable in perpetuity. In addition to the 232 new homes, the partnership will also develop a health centre for the local community, new office space for the New Cross Gate Trust and an outdoor gym.
–   Rogue Landlords and
Whereas Besson Street will set a gold standard for how renting will work the Rogue Landlords team targets the worst offenders in the private rented sector, and brings forward prosecutions against them to drive up standards.
–   Landlord Licensing
We support accredited landlords through our landlord events and through discounts to licensing fees if they are accredited. We also run landlord forums where all of the London accreditation schemes are promoted.
 Key objective 4: Promoting health and wellbeing by improving our residents’ homes
–   Decent Homes Programme
The decent homes programme has been improving the standard of all Council Homes within the borough across the last years, and will be completed in 2018. Meaning that every Council Home will meet modern standards.
–   Disabled Facilities Grants
The Council provides grants for residents to convert their properties to allow them to carrying on leading independent lives within their own homes.


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