Ensuring that London’s existing housing supply is well maintained is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the community.
Existing housing stock
Decent Homes Standard
In 2005 just over 260,000 social rented homes in London were below the Decent Homes Standard - most of them council housing.
Since then, the number of housing association homes below the standard has fallen by 83 per cent and the number of council homes below the standard by 62 per cent (as of 2013).
In March 2013 there were just over 91,000 council and housing association homes below the standard.
Meeting the standard
The 2010 Spending Review settlement made £1.6bn available to local authority landlords to help improve the houses not meeting the Decent Homes Standard. This fund also included those with housing stock managed by ‘arm's-length management organisations’ (ALMOs)
A total of 14 London Local Authority and ALMO landlords received 821m backlog funding during 2011-15. This funding brought approximately 51,000 homes up to the Decent Homes Standard.
What we do
It’s been our role to administer the Decent Homes Backlog Programme within London since April 2012. We will oversee a £145m grant funding programme in 2015-16 with nine boroughs. We expect to bring around 9,500 homes in line with the standard with this fund.
We work with landlords to help them get the most out of the available funding. We help them in completing their Decent Homes programme as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
Decent Homes allocations
We’ve published the allocations we've made to London boroughs through the Decent Homes Programme between 2012-15.
Transferring housing stock to registered providers is a well-established means of securing investment for the improvement of social housing.
The benefits include:
- registered providers can borrow money from banks and building societies to buy and invest in housing to bring it up to a decent standard
- stock transfers create more meaningful tenant involvement in the management of their homes and contributes to wider community regeneration
- this leaves the local authority free to focus on more strategic housing issues
Registered providers are also known as housing associations, and include former Registered Social Landlords.
The transfer process
Housing transfers can only be made to providers of social housing registered with the social housing regulator. They also require the support of a majority of tenants as well as consent from the Secretary of State.
Local authorities that are considering transferring housing stock to registered providers must work closely with tenants at all stages of the transfer process. A ballot of tenants must be conducted to establish the tenants' views.
Any local authority wishing to transfer tenanted dwellings to a registered provider within London should discuss the proposal and agree a timetable with us. Key milestones will be agreed that will allow the local authority to complete their transfer, normally within two years.
How we help
We provide support and advice to local authorities and other stakeholders on housing transfer bids. We make recommendations to the DCLG as to whether consent should be given to transfers.
We also ensure that tenants are fully engaged in the housing transfer process and monitor progress against transfer milestones.
Transfer Manual 15/16
Up to £100 million nationally is available from central government to provide debt write-off and support for stock transfer.
The Housing Transfer manual, covering applications to transfer which will complete between 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016, represents only a minor revision from the previous manual. Whilst the process remains the same, the nature of transfer applications may change.
The manual encourages innovative transfer proposals that use transfer as a means of enabling the regeneration of housing estates where poor physical conditions and poor social and economic outcomes mean this sort of solution is a priority
The government wants to encourage transfer where this represents good value for money and where it will bring additional private investment that provides growth through:
- more affordable housing
- local economic activity
- providing a robust, long-term future for estates and neighbourhoods, including by compliance with the Decent Homes Standard.