Council sets out far-reaching housing strategy

Published: Tuesday 20th January 15

A 60 per cent increase in the borough’s home building target is at the heart of a far-reaching housing strategy unveiled by Wandsworth Council.

If approved, the authority would be committed to delivering 18,000 homes in ten years, up from the previous target of 11,000.

The council’s strategy, called the ‘Wandsworth Housing Offer’, sets out a series of connected initiatives which aim to provide a broader range of housing options and to improve standards in different areas of the market, including the private rent sector.

The proposals recognise that, across London, years of undersupply and rapid population growth mean there are not enough homes of any type or tenure to meet demand. Many residents have become stuck in housing which does not meet their needs or aspirations, with little or no opportunity to make the next step.

The ‘Wandsworth Housing Offer’, if approved, commits the council to going further than ever before to help people in different housing situations to make a positive move.

It will see the council begin to exercise new freedoms over how it manages its resources, accelerate its own home building programme, take forward major regeneration plans for three council estates and could include establishing a housing company to deliver more homes for local people to rent.

Council leader Ravi Govindia said:

“Through the Wandsworth Housing Offer we will help a broader range of people than ever before and will boost supply right across the local housing market. It amounts to a major expansion of our traditional local authority housing role and makes full use of new freedoms to manage our resources and take risks.

“Our key objective is to sustain a significant increase in housing supply with a focus on providing opportunities for the diverse range of households living and moving here. This includes older householders, the sons and daughters of our existing residents and the young singles and couples who make up an important part of the borough population.

“Our strategy will see new social housing, affordable housing and homes for private rent and private sale delivered in far greater numbers. Maximising supply across all tenures is the only way to close the gap between supply and demand and to bring affordability back to the London and south east housing market.

“Increasing mobility between different housing types is another key objective so better use is made of the homes we already have. We recognise that no sector of the market works in isolation and improving access to one area, such as low cost homeownership, frees up space in another, such as the private rent sector.

“We will use council and other public sector assets more creatively to drive up the new homes supply and will purchase properties to rent to local people on different terms. We will also incentivise, finance and support other home builders to deliver more of the housing our residents need. This will include helping local people build homes themselves on surplus land and using our planning powers to encourage the delivery of lower cost private rent homes in suitable locations.

“We will develop a new model of private rent housing for Wandsworth residents and do much more to encourage local landlords to provide the longer, more stable rental contracts which allow people to put down roots.

“Our strategy sets out highly ambitious plans for improving our existing council housing including £77millon of ‘Decent Homes Plus’ investment over the next three years that will keep our estates above the national standards. We are also taking forward transformative regeneration projects in Battersea and Roehampton which go hand-in-hand with a range of education, skills training, employment and health initiatives which all have a vital role to play in helping our community’s to prosper.

“As the Mayor’s new housing strategy makes clear, the only way to tackle London’s housing shortage and spiralling prices is through a major increase in home building and greater mobility. Every council has to play its part and the Wandsworth Housing Offer sets out our long term commitment and contribution to this challenge.”

Read the full Wandsworth Housing Offer strategy document online. The proposals will be discussed by the council's  housing and regeneration committee on Wendesday 21 January.


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Recent comments

Why is it people's who work in the areas awaiting rehousing for years in overcrowded home . The kids has grown in small spacious house not space to move or do homework or a family get together on a dinner table. I have been wZiting to move a bigger place and in an acceptable society as I'm not white wnglish I have been lonely and not having any neigh hood where I lived. I have ask to be loved near my work place where I work as a nurse for last 20 years or more at St George's Hospital. I am the only Asian here in batteries. Who have no friends and my kids also I beg to be loved asap
Rubina poleya

6 March 2015

Comments questioning certain aspects of this strategy have been deleted without adequate explanation or justification. Advice had been taken pre-posting that they were compliant with the T&Cs for publication. This political censorship has been brought to the attention of the Electoral Reform Society.

3 February 2015

A chronic shortage of homes is obviously a problem for all of London - the more new homes authorities such as Wandsworth can build - rapidly - the better There are so many positives about living in London, it's an amazing, world class city, but this problem puts a dampener on it for so many Can't believe my partner and I are stuck renting privately and can't afford to get on the property ladder despite our basic salaries combining to over £120k pa!

27 January 2015

Could we hear about the infrasructure plans to support the new housing please i.e. Public transport, schools, NHS
Eileen Joyce

24 January 2015

It is sad that the release does not mention how many of the 18000 will be social or affordable. And for that matter how many are genuinely affordable. There is a real shortage of decent rental properties at reasonable prices (satisfied by council housing in the past) and I suspect your plans are largely for expensive properties for commercial rent/sale. And I would be surprised if the latter did not make up 80-90% of the total. Shame.
Guy Bell

24 January 2015

I sincerely hope due consideration is being given to the already overloaded transport systems, to support all these new homes. District line and mainline services are already stretched to breaking point.

23 January 2015