#simpleplan begins to scale up

A bit of #SimplePlan in action.

Enfield set up a wholly owned private company called Housing Gateway this year. Officials have viewed 122 properties, made offers on 77 and had 48 accepted. The company currently owns 22 homes and has tenants in five of them.

Oykener said he ensured tenants in those homes would not be eligible to take up the right-to-buy offer. “I specifically ensured that was the case. These special purchase vehicles, along with other benefits, are exempt from right-to-buy so that we won’t end up in this predicament in three years. We are not alone, councils all over are doing this.”

Other councils taking the radical step include Sheffield, Sutton and Ealing, according to Labour MP Gareth Thomas….

“Given the huge loss of affordable homes in London, in part because of the failure to replace those sold under the right-to-buy, the next mayor of London needs to consider setting up a London housing company to help build high-quality social housing, particularly co-operative housing of the sort found on London’s South Bank,” said Thomas.

I know Owen Hatherley will hate me for saying anything nice about Coin Street. But hey, it’s an emergency, dammit. (Speaking of him, not only is this a good piece, but most of the below-the-line screamers seem to think it’s by Owen Jones, who is not the same person.)

I note that Enfield has managed to double its properties viewed, close to double its offers, more than double its accepted offers, and multiply its closings by 10 since end-August (see discussion). The dream is alive.

Has anyone got numbers for the Sutton, Ealing, or Sheffield deployments?

3 Comments on "#simpleplan begins to scale up"

  1. So what are the objections to Coin Street? For non-Londoners, this was a piece of community housing set up in the ’80s under the auspices of the Livingstone-led GLC (one of the last things they did, I think). This followed a long campaign led by, among others, a lady called Bernie (ie Bernadette) Spain.

    Coin Street is round the back of the South Bank Centre, which is why I’ve walked through it a few times: it seems like quite a decent place to me, especially when contrasted to some of the horrors nearby, and I’m all in favour of community housing as a general idea.


  2. The Sutton and Ealing companies are being used to build rather than acquire, though there’s nothing to stop them acquiring or transferring homes into them. The main motivation is RtB avoidance as well as the arbitrary cap on HRA borrowing.

    Ultimately, while this activity is all very laudable, it’s not going to change much except at the margins. What is needed is massive direct government subsidy along the lines of Brown’s Local Authority New Build programme multiples several times.


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