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L&Q’s decent homes show homes 10 August 2009

Posted by Philip Peake in Forest Hill, Housing.
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A couple of weeks ago Cllr John Russell and I went to take a look at the show home that L&Q put together on the Sydenham Hill estate. L&Q are the housing association that the council have chosen to be the ‘preferred bidder’ for most of the council houses they’d originally wanted to put aside for a PFI scheme. That Lewisham Council plan went belly-up after the government returned the draft plan (metaphorically) marked “must do better”.

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This includes most of the council ‘street’ housing – terraces and similar – right across Forest Hill, Catford, Crofton Park and Sydenham, as well as two large estates in Forest Hill ward, the Sydenham Hill estate and the Dallas and Springfield estate.

L&Q are working with a tenants’ and leaseholders’ group that the council set up to produce an offer document which will explain what they plan to do if they take over. Tenants will then get to vote on whether to transfer their houses away from Lewisham Council ownership.

It’s likely that a yes vote will be the only way tenants will see any money to improve their homes, and we’ll probably be supporting one. But it’s worthwhile noting that we don’t agree with the government’s blackmail over these votes.

The blackmail is hardly necessary anyway, since Lewisham’s housing management over the past few years has been so appalling that many tenants tell us they can’t wait to be rid of Lewisham Council as their landlord. Which is less good news for the half of our constituents who will be stuck with Lewisham Council, at the same time that Labour government ministers have announced a raid on the budget set aside for Lewisham Homes and other ALMOs to upgrade people’s homes.

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