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Why Now?

Our current landlords, Tower Hamlets Council do not have enough money to repair and maintain the council estates in this borough.

In addition, central government is insisting that all social housing be brought up to Devent Homes standard by 2010. They have defined (vaguely in fact) the standard, they have made the demand, and they have not provided funding ... not directly, anyway.

Refurbishment urgently needed

If you look around your estate you can see that work needs doing, whether repairing roofs, repainting exteriors or simply improving the communal areas. Any estate needs effective maintenance on a regular basis to keep it up to scratch and, for leaseholders, to maintain the value of their asset. The old Greater London Council (GLC), for example, would paint and repair the outside of their properties every 5 years.

The figures just don't add upDissenting opinions

Not everyone agrees with this approach. The Defend Council Housing Campaign is prominent in attempting an alternative solution. However, their efforts are really directed at Central Government. This is fine, but their efforts at estate level are often experienced as unhelpful and distorted.

How to fund refurbishments

Unlike councils, residential social landlords (RSLs) or housing associations can borrow money on the open market, so if tenants opt to move to a new landlord, then new investment will be available.

The ESG also intends that the change to a RSL will result in a vastly better level of service from the landlord because residents would be dealing with a smaller organisation which is totally focused on housing.


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