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Mayor ponders transfer of Lewisham council houses - and plans to build 250 more
OWNERSHIP of Lewisham's remaining council housing could be transferred to another organisation under plans being considered by the mayor.
At a meeting tonight (July 11), Sir Steve Bullock is also set to endorse building 250 new housing units over the next five years - the first new council-funded housing in the borough since the late 1970s.
By 2030, the borough's population is estimated to increase by 23,500 people and a housing review by council officers sets out three priorities - more homes, bringing current properties up to Decent Homes Standard and improving sheltered housing.
The council will look at land it already owns and speak with other housing associations about possible spaces for new developments - likely to be small five to 15 unit projects in pockets of unused land with Deptford, Sydenham and Forest Hill highlighted for their potential.
Sir Steve told News Shopper: "We know some of these will be more difficult than others but we've got to start somewhere."
But the mayor will also call for further study examining whether ownership of the council's remaining properties could be passed over to a housing association or mutual.
Much of Lewisham's stock has already been transferred to other organisations, with the remainder managed by Lewisham Homes - an organisation set up by the local authority in 2007.
Sir Steve said: "They've really turned round how the stock is managed.
"They've done the job they were set up to do.
"That begs the question, what happens next?"
Options include Lewisham Homes following along the lines of Phoenix - a Downham and Bellingham housing association run by residents - that takes over ownership of the properties.
He said of the council's own record on housing management: "We weren't very good at it. If there are people, including tenants, who are better at it, then let's give them the scope to do that."
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