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Housing

Housing service set to undergo a major overhaul

Council housing in Lambeth will be put under the spotlight when Cabinet Members meet on Monday July 25th to discuss the proposals emerging from the independent Housing Commission made up of housing experts, tenant leaders, and councillors.

Ensuring greater investment in council housing and improving the housing service were key themes scrutinised by the six month long commission, and formed the backbone of the 31 recommendations made in the report. These recommendations included:

  • Lambeth will co-produce with tenants an enhanced Decent Homes standard for Lambeth with a commitment to invest as much money into council owned homes as quickly as possible.
  • Lambeth will develop a business case to develop a social enterprise project that would train unemployed young people and ex-offenders to work on Lambeth properties and to tackle unemployment.
  • Lambeth will develop co-operative models of management and ownership which will be offered to estates.

Cllr Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “This commission has helped to shape a clear direction for the future of the borough’s housing. We have really benefited from the expertise of community activists and housing experts from within Lambeth and across the country. Our challenge is now to get on with implementing the recommendations so that we can improve the state of our council housing for our residents.

A key aspect of the commission was also to test out whether Lambeth Living should be retained as Lambeth’s housing management service. It concluded there would be no advantage to bringing the housing service back in house and, while acknowledging that Lambeth Living was still not providing a good enough service for Lambeth residents, it did note the considerable improvements made in the last 12 months, in particular turning over 600 empty properties into family homes.

Cllr Lib Peck continues: “Cabinet has decided that we should concentrate efforts on pushing for more improvements in rent collection, less empty properties and a service with tenant and customer satisfaction at its heart, rather than spend the next six months on the bureaucratic and structural changes of bringing Lambeth Living back in house.”

To read a copy of the cabinet report and the housing commission report, visit item 9 at:

http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=225&MId=7643

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