Lambeth’s own housebuilder sets out plans for over a thousand new homes

20 March 2020

Written by: Lambeth Council

Council statements and updates - Housing and planning - News and announcements - Post Type - Topic area

Lambeth Council has been asked to endorse ambitious plans to build almost 1,200 new homes over the next five years, to help tackle the borough’s housing crisis.

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Lambeth’s own housebuilder sets out plans for over a thousand new homes

Homes for Lambeth, the council’s wholly-owned housing company, has published its latest business plan, covering its detailed programme of work for the period 2020-23

The blueprint continues a programme of building homes for the people of Lambeth which, in the last year alone, has seen HfL start building 80 homes on two Lambeth estates – and push ahead with plans to build hundreds more.

This major housing investment has added significance in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, which is having huge impacts on every aspect of our lives. It will plough £375m into the local economy, creating new jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities as well as creating opportunities for local businesses at a time of unprecedented challenge.

HfL already has tenants in 70 new council level rent homes at Lollard Street. In the last year, we have collectively started building 16 homes at the Knights Walk Estate and a further 64 at the Westbury Estate. Site preparation works have also been carried out for 46 homes at Fenwick Estate and for the 30 homes on South Lambeth Estate

But the new business plan sets out how HfL will build on these foundations and deliver even more new homes for the people of Lambeth in the next three years. The company expects to submit planning applications for 153 homes on several small sites across Lambeth in 2020-21.

By the end of the three-year Business Plan period, a total of 383 new homes will have been delivered and be under the management of HFL. Of these, 302 (79%) will be affordable homes with 223 new homes for council rent. The figure of homes delivered will have increased to 1,196 by the end of year five, of which 649 (54%) will be affordable, with 439 homes for council rent. HfL will also invest over five years up to £2m to support its programme of social investment and resident engagement across the communities living on our estates.

As the first London borough to declare a climate crisis Lambeth will also work closely with HfL on ensuring new homes are built to high environmental standards and work has been commissioned on the lifetime carbon cost of new homes to make sure that HfL plays its part in the transition to zero carbon.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment and New Homes, said: “The plan that we’re launching today lays the groundwork for over a thousand new homes by 2025, over half of them affordable and with 439 new council homes. This is the biggest council building programme in Lambeth for a generation because we know the housing crisis can’t be fought without the council playing its part to build homes for local families.

“While the council’s focus is now rightly on supporting our residents through the coronavirus emergency it’s also right that we plan for the future.  This plan will invest some £375m in our local economy, creating highly-skilled jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities – providing a strong stimulus to help Lambeth’s economy recover, alongside up to £2m of social investment in local community.

“We’re also placing our commitment to the climate emergency front and centre with clear responses to sustainability and building a low carbon future in the borough because we know there is no just transition to zero carbon which leaves families homeless.”

HfL was established in November 2018 as a key element of Lambeth’s efforts to provide hundreds of new homes for the people of the borough. Over 30,000 people are on the waiting list for social housing and over 2,000 families – including 5,000 children – are homeless and housed in temporary accommodation by the council.

HfL has been tasked with building strong and sustainable communities and delivering high-quality homes and providing homes at genuinely affordable rents to tackle this housing crisis. The company works with carefully selected architects and existing residents on the estates it is rebuilding.

Jitinder Takhar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HfL, said: “In the last year HfL, in partnership with the council, laid the foundations for our long-term mission to build more and better homes for people living in the borough.

“Last year saw us expand our capacity, extend our skills and beginning to deliver on our early promises. This three-year Business Plan shows how we will build on these foundations and demonstrates how we are united in our mission to build thriving communities and better futures for our residents.”

Project highlights

  • On Knights Walk, 84 new homes will be built in two phases. Phase One will deliver 16 new homes for existing residents.
  • On Westbury Estate, Phase One is being built by St James, delivering 64 new homes at council-level rent on two sites on Wandsworth Road. Work is now underway, so existing residents will have new homes to move into before Phase 2 begins.
  • The first phase of work at South Lambeth Estate will see a new block built on Dorset Road. It will deliver 30 new affordable homes including 18 at council-level rent for existing secure tenants.