On Twitter @LifeInKilburn suggested this was not the whole story:
St Raphael's redevelopment delayed. What the Leader doesn't tell you is that the GLA have changed their funding criteria and that they will not fund housing that replaces current housing, making the full redevelopment option not financially possible.
This was a point also made by St Raph's Community group LINK
Inside Housing LINK covered the GLAs change of policy in December 2020 and quoted Helen Evans of the G15 group of housing associations:
The new programme will mean that grant funding will only be available for additional homes in estate regeneration.
This is a big change from previous programmes, the extent to which it makes a difference will depend on how much the estate is being densified.
I believe estate regeneration, which already involves additional costs of demolition and loss of rental income, will become more expensive and unviable in some instances.
There may be some wriggle room for Brent Council and it could be that the delay is caused by protracted talks with the GLA. The GLA’s guidance states it will “consider funding these replacement homes in exceptional circumstances”, such as if homes have become “obsolete”. Does this apply to housing on St Raph's?
Inside Housing continued:
Guy Slocombe, chief investment officer at Hyde, said he hopes the regeneration rules are “a broad generalisation” and that “some of the homes that are being regenerated are being regenerated because they are no longer fit for purpose”.He continued: “Hyde has experience of large-scale regeneration which involves replacing homes that would not meet the decent homes standards. I believe that grant should be provided to replace these homes and I hope that... regeneration projects will be considered on their own merit.
Alternative funding may also be being explored. This is what the GLA document, Homes for London - Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026, LINK says:
The Affordable Homes Programme 2021-2026 provides funding for estate regeneration projects where the grant is used for additional homes. Funding will not be available for units that replace homes that have been, or will be, demolished.
Where homes have become obsolete the GLA will consider funding these replacement homes in exceptional circumstances, and only as part of a scheme that will increase the number of homes overall.
Where councils are unable to fund replacement homes within their own resources, the GLA will look to provide alternative funding. Investment partners seeking to undertake estate regeneration are encouraged to submit bids under this programme for units that will increase overall supply and to discuss additional requirements with GLA officers where further funding is required to support the replacement of homes that have been demolished.