Cllr Matthew Bennett is the Cabinet Member for Planning, Investment, & New Homes, and is a councillor in Gipsy Hill.
London is facing a severe housing crisis. In Lambeth this means that over 30,000 people are on the council’s waiting list for social housing and over 2,000 homeless families, including some 5,000 children are provided with temporary accommodation by Lambeth Council every night.
The council works hard to secure social and affordable housing in private developments using our planning powers and works closely with our housing association partners to provide more homes for local families, but we know we can do more.
That’s why we took the decision to establish Homes for Lambeth, so we can start building homes directly for local people. HfL is entirely owned by Lambeth council, so there’s no private developer involved and no profit being made from the building of new homes for local people.
By 2023 HfL will have delivered and be managing 383 new homes, of which 79% will be affordable homes, 223 of them at Council Rent Levels – far exceeding our own planning policy for affordable housing. By 2025 we will have built over 1000 new homes, including 439 new council homes in the borough for local families.
These homes will form the early part of a programme to build over 4,500 homes in Lambeth in the coming years. The council’s decision to rebuild some estates will ensure that tenants will all live in the high-quality homes that they deserve.
At the time of publishing this plan the country is facing a public health emergency from the COVID-19 virus, which is likely to have a severe impact on our local economy, jobs and livelihoods alongside the serious consequences for health. Our plan will see a direct investment of around £375 million in our local economy, creating hundreds of local jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities and will form a key part of Lambeth’s response to help rebuild our economy once the crisis has passed.
Lambeth was the first London Borough to declare a climate emergency. HFL will not only meet Lambeth’s high environmental and energy standards for new homes, but will go beyond these with a new set of commitments to monitoring and auditing carbon as part of new developments and designing homes to use less energy as part of our commitment to tackling fuel poverty.
HfL will deliver our commitments, jointly with the council, to tenants and leaseholders on regeneration estates, the Key Guarantees. Together we will also introduce new Liveability Commitments to support residents through every phase of the rebuilding of their estate, with enhanced housing management, support from adult social care, schools, the NHS and children’s services, as appropriate and holding contractors to high standards during construction.
HFL and the council will also work together to deliver an enhanced resident engagement and social investment strategy, investing over £2 million in the well-being of our local communities. This programme is about much more than bricks and mortar and represents a major opportunity to invest in our economy, jobs & skills, and community well-being alongside fighting the housing crisis.
Cllr Matthew Bennett