Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Woolwich

Just 13 new council homes delivered at major Woolwich estate regeneration project

New Woolwich estate project - big loss in social housing

In recent years a large estate in Woolwich has been demolished as part of a three-estate redevelopment scheme. The former Connaught Estate has been renamed as Trinity Walk and is the most advanced with stage one complete and stage two now underway.

When complete 1,064 mostly council homes across three estates will be replaced with 1,500 homes – of which just 35 per cent will be “affordable” – leading to a large reduction in council properties.

New estate viewed from Woolwich New Road

A Greenwich council report just released reveals that of hundreds of properties built so far just 13 are council homes. There are also 49 Shared Ownership properties (and we know what a charade that scheme often is) with 84 affordable homes managed by PA Housing.

Taken from July 2019 council report

The same council report reveals a large rise in homeless households while the estate has been demolished and rebuilt. Costs for the use of emergency accommodation has increased from £4 million a year in 2014/15 to £13.1 million last year.

With fewer council homes in which to house people the council are now spending over £100 million buying homes off the market with ever more people housed out of London including Medway in Kent. The authority recently announced spending tens of millions to buy further market homes.

A lack of council homes is costing every taxpayer huge sums of money.

That has the added effect of pricing out many buyers in Kent and raising prices which are already at elevated levels.

Detailed figures from previous council report in early in 2019

Many residents have also been moved out of two other estates earmarked for demolition yet work has moved extremely slowly.

A one bed flat at the new development is marketed at £364,950 and a two bed at £509,950.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. Jo

    Some at the council including the leader have said in the past anyone who wanted to move back could.

    Well, yes, but even if not paying higher rents is the taxpayer paying the difference? And then what when those tenants move on or pass away. The next tenants pay far more?

    The old estate was pretty awful but is this the way to improve? Developers do very well. Taxpayers very badly. The homeless stuck in limbo for years.

  2. Sim

    Let me start by saying I’m a massive fan of the site and check it daily, great to give a platform to topics not often picked up by mainstream media.

    However, this article is slightly misleading, it’s well known that private developers rarely (if ever) build council homes, this is a job for the council. The reality is Affordable Rent is the best alternative. These properties need managing, there is a lot of bureaucracy involved, and I can hardly see the council getting involved in the management of private developments (Trinity Walk being one).

    I wasn’t around when the old estate was present but from what I hear it was a crime ridden s**thole that local residents couldn’t wait to see the back of; so we shouldn’t be so quick to criticize the council for wanting to improve the area for the wider community.

    The unfortunate reality is if people don’t want to work and choose to live off benefits in council homes then they have to accept they’ll be put where the council chooses to put them. I would hope and expect PA Housing to accommodate individuals with disabilities and also subsidize those in low paid work, however the drug addicted benefit leeches can be sent out to Kent as the area already indexes highly enough on these individuals. I have no sympathy for them.

    Woolwich desperately needs to be regenerated and we shouldn’t keep sticking up for those who don’t want to improve themselves.

    • DWW

      You Sim are a pompous snobbish ass! You take no account of the people who are in council housing through no fault of their own! I am lucky enough to be in a Private affordable rented place which is covered for my life. But many aren’t. Both my husband and I worked hard all our lives until he died from Leukeamia while I was still young and had young children to bring up! At that point I would have cut my arm off for the safety of a Council house! I never married again as I had to work full time to pay the bills so my children didn’t go without food.
      None of these new places can in ANYWAY be called AFFORDABLE HOUSING! My Children and Granchildren are all in full time work and can’t afford to buy, so have to rely on Private renting which may last for 6months, 1 year or more but at no time is it reliable for bringing up a family. With Private renting you are only covered for as long as is on the whim of the landlord! My family mostly work for the NHS, some do double shifts, so the wages are classed as reasonable and still they can’t afford to buy.
      Please think before you speak on something you obviously no nothing about!

    • anonymous201486

      Local authorities have absolved themselves from the responsibility to provide housing and have sought to shift this to private businesses through the requirement of ‘affordable units’ as part of planning permission. However, developers are able to cut, or entirely negate the number of dwellings, by the use of s106. Councils are happy to pocket the money in exchange for letting the developers ditch the affordable element of the scheme.

  3. Paul SuperUnknown

    As a Disabled person, and a resident of Trinity Walk, I can tell you of the vast difference in the quality of materials and workmanship between the Privately owned properties, and “the others”!
    Things like single coat paint on walls. No parking for Disabled Residents, or their Carers. (Not even for pick ups for trips to Doctor, or Specialist, Appointments.) The length of time one must wait for the repair of even Security Issues is hugely different between “Other Residents”, and Private Residents.
    The Estate is already gang ridden, with junkies and gang bangers invading the area during the night time hours.
    Antisocial Behaviour by the Residents is ignored by the Management Company, and the Council.
    In short, living here is an awful experience.
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to have a place to live. I only wish those in charge would act like they were in charge!

    • Sim

      Sounds awful Paul, correct me if I’m wrong but I’m assuming your tenancy is with PA Housing?

      If this is the case and tenants are acting inappropriately and breaching these terms should PA housing not be able to evict these individuals?

      I think Woolwich as a whole has a big drug issue but it sounds to me like private security should be in place in this development to safeguard residents.

      • Paul SuperUnknown

        Sim, one would think Management would want to protect their assets, as well as promote an image of a well-run, safe, place to live, especially since they’ve more units to sell, but this is not the case!

        Just to touch on one of my biggest gripes, no parking for Disabled Tenants, there are 13 parking bays in front the buildings. They have the Disabled emojis spray painted in each individual space. One would think Disabled persons, or Carers, would be the individual last using them, but sadly, NO!

        In another truly ‘this could only happen in a Royal Burrough of Greenwich Planning Fiasco’, the bays were assigned to specific flats, rather than Disabled Individuals! The problem arose when the ground floor Disablity Adapted Flats were built as two bedroom flats, and not enough Disabled People required two bedroom flats, so the Council, and PA Housing filled them with Able-Bodied People! In fact, the overwhelming majority of these flats were allocated to able bodied folk! So, now we have a situation where the people who need the Disabled Parking Bays, don’t have them, and are ticketed if they try to use them, and the people who legally use them do not need them, yet use them as a matter of convenience!

        I am a Blue Badge Holder, but I have paid Parking Fines totalling £700.00, as a result of needing to park for a few minutes while my Carer has had to assist up to my Flat.

        I could continue, but I won’t, it would unproductive, and headache inducing!

  4. CDT

    So sorry to heat that Paul it must be awful for you and your fellow tenants who are law abiding. Your landlord should be taking the necessary action to evict tenants who are continously causing anti social behaviour. The Council should also be taken action and have the powers to do so but just do not bother most of the time.

    With regard to the vast difference in building materials I have heard this from other tenants on new estates who rent homes through Housing Associations.

    Sadly Sim Woolwich is plagued by the issues raised by Paul. Unless tougher action is taken the situation sadly will not improve.

    • Paul SuperUnknown

      CDT, thank you for grasping the heart of the problem!

      It’s obvious to you, and many others, who are not in the property management game, what the problems are, and what must be done to remedy them!

      So, WHAT’s the problem with P.A. and the Council? Wilful apathy? Purposeful Disregard?

  5. Jack

    The Council is not responsible for the management of PA Housing’s Housing Stock and I’m pretty sure that PA Housing won’t be the ones managing the ‘market housing stock’. Which is why there will be a difference between the services people in market housing are getting and those under PA’s stock are getting.

    PA should be doing more and if they are not I’d suggest speaking to local Councillors / plus these guys https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/regulator-of-social-housing/about

  6. Woolwicher

    I live next to one of the 13 council managed homes and on the whole the council is doing a good job of managing them. The flats are the same quality as mine and the residents get the same level of service with issues.
    I wish the rules of the lease regarding upkeep of balconies were enforced but hey, can’t have it all.

  7. chris

    I live opposite Trinity in Canada Court whose landlord is PA Housing we have all the same problems and worse as our blocks are now 8 years old, we have thick block mold in our meter cupboards been there 4 years, broken dangerous playground equipment, repairs never being done, our main entrance door has been wedged open for more than 2 months and we have people selling weed and sleeping rough in our stair wells, exposed electrical wires in play area, Pinnacle concierge doing little or nothing showing up when and if they please with no supervision. We have just set up a tenants and residents association and PA is going to meet us on a monthly basis to remedy these and many other issues but with the neglect we have experienced from PA up till now we will believe it when we see it.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Theme by Anders Norén