‘£300-£400m’ refurb for Lambeth council housing stock

Lambeth Living could be about to spend £300-400million pounds improving council homes.

Last night area housing manager Chris Adamson said a consultation process was going on to find how best to use the money, which will be borrowed with the help of central government.

He was speaking at the Brixton Area Housing Forum, at the Town Hall, Brixton Hill, a meeting where Lambeth Living tenant groups get to quiz the organisation and maintenance firm Morrison about the state of the area’s council homes.

Adamson said: “We have one of the highest rates of non-decent homes in the country.

“Lambeth is likely to be able to borrow £300-£400million to refurbish properties. That is a large amount of money.”

But cllr Florence Nosegbe said the amount of cash had to be put into context.

She told the meeting: “Any money that we borrow won’t be enough to do major works across the borough.”

Adamson also said that £250,000 extra is currently being spent on communal repairs after Lambeth Living was able to recover more rent from residents than they had expected.

The forum gave other residents a chance to express their grievances. It emerged that leaseholders on Dumbarton Court, Brixton Hill are considering legal action after complications to roof replacement work sent costs soaring. Leaseholders have held meetings with council leader cllr Steve Reed over the costs, which they say they cannot afford.

Also discussed at last night’s meeting was the “culture of fear” surrounding Tulse Hill Estate being labelled a gang hotspot. Residents rejected the label as “unfair” and “counterproductive” and said many young people came to the area from other estates or even other boroughs. Tomorrow Jubilee Hall, a disused community centre near Hardham House, will be reopened and used as the new base of the neighbourhood police team.

The next meeting of the Brixton Area Housing Forum will be the AGM on 7 March, at 7pm at Brixton Town Hall.