Westbury Estate Newsletter 17

The Development Management Team have published Newsletter #17 for Westbury Estate and it is available to read here.

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The Development Management Team have published Newsletter #17 for Westbury Estate and it is available to read here.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Coming Up in November/December

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Rents and Service Charge Update

Rents and Service Charges: We know that residents would like to know more detail about rents and service charges and while Lambeth do not have specific figures at the moment the following information sets out how these charges will be calculated. 

Rents: Your rent, as a lifetime assured tenant living in a newly built Homes for Lambeth home, will be set in the same way as council rents through the national rent regime. This takes account of:

  • Property value
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Average earnings in the area
  • Location of the property

Given that the value of the property is part of the rent setting regime and these newly built properties will have a higher value, your rent could increase. However, any increase in rents will be phased in over 5 years and you would still be able to apply for Housing Benefit to cover the rent.

Service Charges: All secure tenants and homeowners currently pay service charges for the upkeep of communal spaces, gardens, lifts, caretaking, repairs, landscaping, and lighting. Some secure tenants pay this combined with their rent; some have it as a separate item. In either case, all secure tenants pay a service charge. The service charges for secure tenants is averaged across the borough while for leaseholders it is set specifically for the estate the leaseholder lives on.

Homes for Lambeth will set your service charges based on the costs of maintaining the estate you live on. It is likely that there will be two parts to your service charge – one part will be for the wider estate and the second part will be specific to the building in which you live. Your service charges will be based on the services that you receive and will be listed as a separate item in bills so you can see the costs.

Service charges will also be different for homeowners and tenants as homeowners are responsible for insurance costs whereas tenants aren’t. When design work reaches an advanced stage on individual estates, we will be able to estimate the level of services charges. These will only be estimates until we have finalised the specifications of services.

What we can tell you is that the more services you want, the higher the service charges will be. For example, a supplier who provides a staffed concierge and a local office will add significant extra costs compared with telephone and online support. We are currently consulting residents on how Homes for Lambeth should approach Housing Management so that we can balance providing quality of service with resident concerns about increased service charges. 

Housing Management
Last month all residents in the low-rise blocks will have received a booklet asking for feedback on Housing Management because Lambeth want to know what’s important to you about how the future estate will be looked after. This is because the rebuilding of your estate will only be successful if Homes for Lambeth both builds the more and better homes we need but also looks after them and you properly.

While your new home and estate may be a few years away, we want to do this now so that Homes for Lambeth can start with the right approach and select the best housing management provider for the new estate.

Lambeth are looking for feedback on:

  • How you want to talk to your estate’s housing management provider
  • How you want to access their services
  • How you want to report repairs and get them resolved
  • How Homes for Lambeth should support you and your family
  • How communal and shared spaces should be looked after
  • How you should be involved in running your new estate

Your views, along with the feedback from consultation on tenancies and leases, will help to finalise the specification of service which will define what Homes for Lambeth expects from providers bidding to provide housing management services. It will also help to determine the cost of these services to Homes for Lambeth and the level of the service charges for your new home.

DEADLINE REMINDER - The deadline for consultation on housing management is the 15.12.17

 

New Housing Manager 

As some of you will be aware there is a new Housing Manager responsible for Westbury Estate and her contact details are below. 

Cecile Amelie Bundhoo
Housing Officer
London Borough of Lambeth
Phone: 0207 926 3821
Mobile:
07507 889 209 

Email: CBundhoo2@Lambeth.gov.uk
Website: www.Lambeth.gov.uk
Address:
Central Area Housing, 
Housing Services
Lambeth Town Hall
SW2 1RW

 

Council Drop Ins
Every Tuesday Lambeth Council hold a drop in session in No.7 Fovant Court from 4pm - 6pm. These are for everybody who lives on Westbury Estate to attend and ask questions about any aspect of the regeneration programme.

 

Cooking Demonstration
With the days getting shorter and more time being spent indoors and eating comfort food, we are going to be doing cooking demonstrations at No.7 Fovant Court in the new year. Come join us as we create easy, affordable and nutritious meals on an induction hob. If you have any questions on how it works, or if you want to see how a certain recipe is made, drop in and let us know what you’d like to cook. Let us know if you are interested and we’ll book you in for a session. We look forward to cooking up a storm with you!

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No. 7 Drop In Sessions
Over the next 6 months make:good will be continuing their drop in sessions in No.7 Fovant Court as well as popping up around Westbury Estate to make it as easy as possible for residents to meet the team and ask any questions.
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Indicative Timeline
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Timetable November - December
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Your Independent Advisors

As we enter the last few weeks of our current contract we are proud to have provided the Independent Advisory Service on Westbury for the past 2 years and wish residents and Lambeth Council all the best for the coming years of the regeneration.

We’d like to thank the many residents who have become involved, attended the Resident Engagement Panel (REP) meetings and contacted us for advice and support. We’d also like to say a huge “thank you” to the REP and especially Alan Mesure and Rolanda Norman-Gay, (respectively, Chair and Vice Chair of the REP), who have  worked work with us around a range of issues to help achieve a better deal for residents.

Residents have worked with the Development Management Team to make a number of significant changes to the designs for the new homes. Resident involvement has also resulted in a number of enhancements to the Key Guarantees which we think are fair and reasonable. Tower block tenants let us know that they wanted opportunities to move into the new development and the Council is committed to including tower block tenants in the Local Lettings Plan for the new development.

We recently organised a workshop for leaseholders to flag up residents’ priorities and concerns for next year when we expect the CPO process to gain momentum. During December we will be talking to residents from the low-rise buildings about the Council’s consultation around Housing Management in the new development.

See the calendar above for our upcoming events.

Season’s Greetings,

Howard, NewmanFrancis 

Independent Advisor Service

 

 

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