The Brent Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee meets at the earlier time of 4pm today, which is unfortunate as many residents with a direct interest in the issue under discussion will still be at work. The Committee is usually held at 6pm.
You can watch the meeting at 4pm HERE
The Committee will examine a report on the New Council Homes Project (NCHP) and reports on the two arms length council organisations that provide housing by various routes. This article concentrates on the former.
Brent has a very long housing list and the report covers the two most needy categories: (December 2020) 1924 homeless households in temporary accommodation and 971 homeseekers defined by the allocations policy as in acute need. This is the accommodation needed:
3 bed – 1167
The table below (Table 1) sets out the projected number of new homes including all of those included in the NCHP based on known development sites and opportunities identified to date as at November 2020. It breaks delivery down by the different types of accommodation:
· TA: Temporary Accommodation
· S106: Homes delivered due to a s106 obligation
· DLP: Developer Led Project
· SSU: Supported Specialised Units
· NAIL: New Accommodation for Independent Living
UPDATE: In answer to a query from Wembley Matters about the table above Brent Council said all rented properties developed by the council and counted in Table 1, will be let at London Affordable Rent levels or less.
The large anount of shared ownership housing will be a concern to many given the recent comment by planning officers on the Willesden development that 95% of intermediate products (such as shared ownership) are not affordable to 95% of Brent residents LINK.
Shared ownership is currently in the news over large bills for repairs post Grenfell that fall on the leaseholders rather than the freeholder and big hikes in service charges. Which? LINK lists the pros and cons:
Committee members will hopefully also explore the definition of 'affordable' rent which range from 80% of market rent to social rent.
The report states that the current position in terms of delivery of the NCHP can be summarised as follows:
· 231 new homes have been built and let
· 610 homes are currently on site and being built
· 332 homes have been given planning consent and are now going through procurement to identify a building contractor.
· 566 homes currently being assessed for feasibility.
The council''s ambition is to deliver 1,000 homes at 'genuinely affordable' rents. Table 2 below, shows some of the sites that are currently being explored. The pipeline consists of four elements.
Sites with building underway (on-site)Sites with planning permission awaiting start on siteSites deemed feasible submitted for Planning PermissionSites currently being assessed for feasibility and financial viability.
The report describes plans to be delivered by Network Homes for 99 London Affordable Rent homes at Church End and 'new affordable rent' homes (definition?) totalling 370 on existing estates at Watling Gardens, Windmill Court and Kilburn Square.
A decision has to be made between redevelopment and infill on St Raphael's Estate. The redevelopment option would deliver 2,065 new homes a net increase of 550 'affordable' (definition?) rented homes, while the infill proposes to deliver 370 'new homes' (tenure details?)
Regarding South Kilburn the report says:
Officers continue to explore opportunities in South Kilburn to deliver an increased number of Council homes while still ensuring a sensible balance between different housing tenures, as required in the Master Plan. (What's a 'sensible balance?)