Our plans for building new homes in Havering

During the next 10 years Havering Council is planning to build around 3,500 new homes for local people, in one of the most ambitious local authority home building programmes in the country.

Since Right to Buy started around 4,000 Council homes have been sold and these need to be replaced.

The land being used is owned by us and will remain in Council ownership.

The 3,500 new homes will be for affordable rent; Low Cost Home Ownership and private sale. Where we retain a share in the property and it must be sold back to the Council when the owner moves.

At the moment Havering Council have no households in Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

2016 saw changes in the Housing Allocations Policy, which means people have to live in Havering for a minimum of six years before being eligible for Council housing.

Family homes, with two or more bedrooms, are in particular demand. All the new properties are being built to high standards and are energy efficient, with many having solar panels installed to help keep fuel costs down for tenants.

Using unused land

Across the borough there are many small pockets of land where a small number of new homes can be built on each site but together they total around 500 new homes.

The sites include unused garage sites or small areas of waste land, which often attract anti-social behaviour or fly-tipping.

By building on this land these problems are removed, while at the same time providing homes for local people.

Most of these can be built without a significant impact on local services, such as schools, medical facilities or drainage systems, because of the small number of additional properties.

The remaining 3,000 new homes are being built through a major regeneration programme.

The aim is that on each site as a minimum the number of new homes built will replace existing Council housing and those sold under the Right to Buy.

Moving home

From Tuesday 17 January 2017 properties which became empty are being examined to see if they meet the housing needs of people being moved from the regeneration estates and if they match an offer will be made.

This matching will only take place for people who have returned their signed Decant Assessment Form – if you haven’t yet done so please return it as soon as possible.

If the offer is accepted the move will take place as quickly as possible with the Council providing assistance to residents' who are moving.

No demolition work will be starting on any of the 12 estates until late 2018 but moves are starting now so that we have a better chance of an empty property becoming available which matches a tenants needs.

Homes which become available on the 12 estates because a secure tenant has moved out will be used for temporary accommodation to reduce the need for bed and breakfast accommodation.

Council issues demolition notices

Following a Cabinet decision on Wednesday 12 October 2016 to proceed with a Housing Regeneration Programme to build more than 3,500 new homes in Havering during the next 10 years,Demolition Notices have been delivered to around 900 properties.

The Demolition notice is a formal, legal document we must serve on tenants telling them they intend to demolish the building which includes the tenants home and it must explain why the Council is planning to carry out the demolition.

Deputy Leader of Havering Council and Cabinet member for Housing, Councillor Damian White, said: “The issuing of Demolition Notices is a formal process the Council must do but it does not mean bulldozers will be moving in next week.

“Indeed we don’t expect work to start on any of the Housing Regeneration Programme sites until 2018 but these notices must be served now so tenants know what is happening and to suspend any further Right to Buy applications on the estates which will be regenerated.

“Every resident who receives a Demolition Notice will also receive an information sheet (copy attached) and is able to have a one to one meeting with a Council officer who will be able to answer any further questions they may wish to raise.”

The Cabinet agreed that the Housing Regeneration Programme would go ahead at:

Consultation

In all cases extensive consultation will take place with residents in the areas where development is proposed and, in many cases, residents’ groups are being formed so they can comment on design ideas and make suggestions for improvements.

One to one meetings with tenants on each regeneration site are being held to identify their individual needs so, as far as possible, these can be met.

For each of the regeneration schemes, and for some of the smaller infill schemes, newsletters are being produced to keep residents informed of what is happening and web pages have been developed on the Council’s website.

Local Lettings Plans are being developed and will be on each website page in due course giving details of how residents can bid for alternative accommodation and the priority they will receive.

Each tenant on each estate will also receive a Decant Assessment Form summarising their housing needs and wishes, which can be updated as circumstances change.

Compensation available

If you have to move because of the Housing Regeneration Programme you are entitled to a Home Loss Payment of £6,100 (although any rent arrears you owe may be deducted from this payment before it is made) and Disturbance Payments based on individual needs to cover other costs incurred.

Home Loss payments will be paid up to 4 weeks after the keys are returned from the former property.

In certain circumstances there may also be a cash incentive payment, of up to £30,000, for any tenant giving up their tenancy so they can buy a house in the private sector.

If you are moving to a home with less bedrooms you may also be eligible for a payment through the under occupancy scheme.

Full details can be discussed with you on an individual basis.

In certain circumstances you may be recharged for work that needs doing on the home you are leaving. You can avoid those recharges by following guidance in the leaflet below.

How to avoid recharges when moving home May 2017

The timetable

Throughout 2018 designs and plans for each site will be prepared for discussion and eventual approval leading to submission of planning applications.

Again residents will be able to comment during the planning process.

Work is unlikely to start on any of the sites until late 2018 and the programme will be phased with some sites starting later in the programme.

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