The review, chaired by independent peer Lord Bob Kerslake, was commissioned to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing in the borough and in particular, homes at social rent which are genuinely affordable for local families on the housing waiting list.
The review examined two key questions:
- How can Lambeth Council and its partners deliver more high-quality affordable homes, more quickly for more people?
- How can Lambeth Council and its partners do this and manage the costs of moving to a net zero carbon borough?
Lord Kerslake has now completed his review, and his findings will be discussed by Lambeth’s Cabinet at a meeting on Monday, 5th December. The review report points out that over 2,400 affordable homes have been delivered in Lambeth since 2017, the 13th highest in London, and it praises the council’s approach to delivering new affordable housing with high sustainability standards in line with the council’s commitments to tackle the climate crisis.
The review report also highlights delivery challenges in the council’s wholly-owned housing company Homes for Lambeth, and recommends that the company is brought back into the council. It also acknowledges significant challenges that local authorities, housing associations and private sector house builders have faced and are continuing to face due to Covid-19, construction inflation and the wider economic downturn.
The report further highlights that delivery on rebuilding three estates, Fenwick, Central Hill and Cressingham Gardens has been too slow and that resident engagement needs to be fundamentally reset to support people living on those estates. The Cabinet report recommends that the council accepts the recommendations from Lord Kerslake, and commits to resetting its approach to those three estates and a fundamental change in how resident engagement is conducted.
How the review was conducted
The review assessed the existing housing delivery approaches and development pipelines by Lambeth Council, its wholly-owned delivery company Homes for Lambeth and how it works with current or potential partners. It considered how the council can ensure that opportunities and delivery across the borough are accelerated and maximised by working with all partners, including the Mayor of London and public sector partners. It reviewed best practice from other local authorities to deliver more homes at social rent.
The review took evidence from across the council, from public and private sector partners and from local residents. It concluded with a report for the leader of the council, Councillor Claire Holland and the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Growth and New Homes, Councillor Danny Adilypour, in the autumn of 2022. It has been published alongside the council’s response.