Build 100% Council Housing
Somerleyton Rd was the first street in Brixton to house the Windrush generation. In the past it offered cheap accommodation. When most housing in Brixton is unaffordable for those on average wages it is important that housing on this site remains truly affordable for future generations.
The council has made a welcome commitment to retain ownership of this site and build housing for rent. However, Lambeth says 60% of the new homes have to be rented at full market rent to help pay for 40% at council rent.
But why only 40%? Why only 145 houses? There are already 21,000 people on the housing waiting list in Lambeth and the affordable flats provided by the Carlton Mansion co-op, which will be destroyed in the development, will also need to be replaced.
Well according to lambeth… we need to be sensible. The project has to be self-financing and we can only borrow over 25 years. We think the council need a bit more vision and a bit more backbone. The main cost of housing in London is the cost of the land and Lambeth already owns the Somerleyton Road site. Councils now have the ability to borrow to build, and can borrow at lower rates than private developers.
- They could borrow over a longer period and the value of any housing they build is unlikely to diminish over the years.
- We are sure the 50 million needed for 100% council housing could be found from somewhere. How much is the town hall redevelopment vanity project costing?
- Have the council made any attempt to claw back money from the developers who lied about their projected profits to get opt- outs of building social housing in the borough?
- What about a Lambeth property tax on houses worth over 750,000 or on landlords who own multiple properties?
- Why won’t the Labour Party commit to a massive council house building program and guarantee that a Labour Government would pay off the loans taken out by councils so that councils would be confident to borrow more money to build housing?
- Or commit a future government to scrapping the historic housing debts councils are saddled with? They did this when councils transferred their stock to housing associations!)
Lambeth Labour’s own manifesto in 2010 promised 50% social housing in new developments (for more info on broken manifesto promises see our website).
We know that if the politicians thought secure, quality, affordable housing was a priority they would find a way to finance it. We will be at all the consultation meetings making the case for 100% council housing. Join us!