The council’s draft housing strategy, sets out a blueprint for tackling the deepening housing crisis affecting Lambeth.
Among three main ambitions in Lambeth’s Borough Plan earlier this year was the goal of making Lambeth ‘A Place We Can All Call Home’. Today’s draft plans set out an overarching vision and the aims for housing in Lambeth over the next seven years. The commitment to a refreshed housing strategy was also among the key findings of the Kerslake Review into affordable housing in Lambeth, commissioned by the council and published last year.
The strategy is built around three central priorities:
- Delivering More Affordable Homes
- Delivering Excellent Housing and Repair Services
- Supporting Healthy and Safe Neighbourhoods
Lambeth residents can have their say on the new housing strategy by visiting the consultation page on the council’s website. The consultation closes on Monday 20 November.
Lambeth’s residents are also being consulted on the draft plan’s proposals to change the council’s policy on how it allocates social housing. The council believes the changes will make this policy fairer to all those affected. The current policy has not seen any major change for 10 years. Lambeth has more applicants on its waiting list than any other council, with more than 43,000 households waiting for a home.
Word from the Cabinet
Speaking as thousands of Lambeth residents receive an email invitation to join in the borough-wide consultation, Councillor Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Better Homes and Reducing Homelessness, said:
“Our biggest priority is to deliver more affordable housing to Lambeth’s residents, especially more social housing. Over the coming years, Lambeth will aim to deliver more new council homes for local people.
“The lack of investment from the government for new affordable housing has had a profound impact on many people in the borough – from all the families left on the waiting list to those facing ever-rising private rents.
“We will make it possible to deliver more homes by increasing the density of housing on the council’s land. We will work with partners to make more land available for affordable housing. And we will progress with the renewal of estates that are no longer fit for purpose, where the residents support change.
“We’re determined to make the best use of the properties we already have. We’ll do this by reducing the time homes are left empty, tackling social housing fraud and through a range of other measures. As we do all of this, we’ll put a compassionate approach right at the heart of how we deliver Housing and Repair Services. This will make residents’ lived experience central to all that we do.
Councillor Kay highlighted the council’s aim to tackle damp and mould, improve fire safety, and provide greater protection for private renters in the borough. There will also be more help and support to vulnerable residents – including for victims of domestic violence.
She added: “Homelessness is a blight on our borough that we want to tackle in every way we can. Lambeth is one of the best performing councils in London on this issue. We plan to give greater priority to homeless households living in temporary accommodation. In this way we’ll cut the high number of housing applicants on our waiting lists as we reform the way we allocate Lambeth homes.
“At present, people with similar needs can bid for the same home. The system means that the person who’s waited the longest secures the home – the time on the register is taken from when the person first joined the list.
“So, for example, if someone joined the register as a teenager but only became a higher priority applicant many years later, they would be in a much stronger bidding position than someone who only joined the waiting list when their housing situation reached a crisis point. This isn’t fair and now we want to change that. So we’re asking Lambeth residents to give us their views on a fairer system by taking part in our consultation.”
Watch the video of Councillor Kay setting out how the council proposes to tackle the borough’s housing crisis.