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New national plan and funding brings bigger boost to estate regeneration

New government funding to help breathe new life into rundown estates has been announced by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

A new government strategy and additional funding will breathe new life into rundown estates Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced yesterday (8 December 2016).

As part of a new blueprint for regenerating deprived housing estates, an additional £32 million of new funding is now available, along with £140 million from the estate regeneration fund to build places that work for everyone.

It means that councils, housing associations and developers can now bid for a share of £172 million of government investment to transform local neighbourhoods and deliver high-quality housing.

They will also get advice on transforming areas from a new ‘national strategy’ to address common challenges that can stop projects, such as resident protection concerns or finding the necessary finance.

Estate regeneration has the potential to deliver thousands of additional homes over the next 10 to 15 years. And provide well-designed public spaces and a better quality of life in areas often characterised by poor quality housing and social deprivation.

The new national strategy was developed by an independent advisory panel, chaired by Lord Heseltine and the Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell.

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

Rundown estates offer huge potential to become new thriving communities providing homes, jobs and opportunities and places that work for everyone.

That’s why we’re determined to ensure the success of regeneration projects through the national strategy to transform the lives of thousands of people by delivering better homes in better estates.

Lord Heseltine said:

The national strategy puts residents at the heart of reshaping their estates, working with local authorities and developers.

Estate regeneration must be locally-led and this strategy sets out blueprints for success, to help guide the progress and provide aspiration for delivering tangible plans.

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell said:

The funding we are providing will help kick-start a renaissance for those estates that face tough challenges and have often been overlooked.

I’d urge communities keen to rejuvenate their places to join together, apply for funding and make use of the national strategy to drive forward their local-led proposals.

Building more homes is central to this government’s vision of a country that works for everyone.

The strategy was devised after discussions with more than 100 areas across England. Through a combination of practical advice and guidance, the new national strategy will help local partners to improve and speed up the progress of estate regeneration.

The strategy has guidance that covers:

  • resident engagement and protection – this includes a model residents’ charter to help ensure a better standard of resident protection
  • good practice guide – steering schemes through all the key stages including the range of finance options available
  • alternative approaches to regeneration – providing advice on community led housing development
  • case studies – illustrating and highlighting examples of design and quality, along with community engagement

Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia said:

I am very pleased to have been a member of the Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, and am delighted that the National Strategy has reflected so much of the local authority feedback and lessons we have offered to the government.

This guidance, and the funding that government has made available, comes as a major boost to getting schemes off the ground in authorities all over the country, not just in London and the South East.

It is clear that local authorities have a significant role to play to ensure that estate regeneration meets local housing need and delivering local growth – and in engaging residents and communities in decisions about their area.

Chief executive of The Housing & Finance Institute, Natalie Elphicke OBE said:

I very much welcome the government’s Estate Regeneration Strategy – this shows that the most important ingredients for success are agreeing a clear plan at the outset, engaging residents throughout a regeneration scheme, and developing a strong and positive partnership with private sector investors.

Together with an effective deployment of public land and finance, high quality long term investment from the private sector can be attracted into estate regeneration.

Chief executive of Hyde Housing Association, Elaine Bailey said:

I whole heartedly welcome the publication of this national strategy. This important initiative provides essential help and support to everyone participating in estate regeneration schemes.

It is so important that residents are engaged and protected throughout – and it is really good to see the government set out its expectations on this issue.

I know that housing associations everywhere are keen to press ahead with their schemes and will benefit from continuing to work with the government on this important agenda.

The strategy will evolve and develop as new guidance and tools become available.

Further information:

Following advisory panel members include:

  • Councillor Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council
  • Nicholas Boys Smith, director of Create Streets, a social enterprise and independent research institute which pushes for well-designed estates
  • Andrew Boff, leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives housing group
  • Elaine Bailey, chief executive, from Hyde Housing Association, which successfully regenerated the Packington Estate in Islington
  • Paul Tennant, chief executive from Orbit Housing Association, which successfully regenerated Erith Estate in Bexley
  • Tony Pidgley, chief executive of Berkeley Homes - a lead partner on various estate regenerations across London
  • Peter Vernon, chief executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
  • Jane Duncan, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Ben Bolgar, senior director of the Princes Foundation
  • Dominic Grace, head of London Residential Development at estates agents Savills
  • Emma Cariaga from the British Land and Thames Valley Housing Association
  • David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough
  • Natalie Elphicke, chief executive of the Housing & Finance Institute
  • Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North
  • Félicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture
  • Lord Andrew Mawson, director of Andrew Mawson Partnerships

The £32 million additional grant funding includes £30 million for enabling work such as feasibility studies, viability assessments, masterplanning, community engagement and partner or procurement advice, and £2 million for local authority capacity building to support estate regeneration work.

The £140 million loan fund was initially announced in January, and is designed to cover costs such as land assembly, leaseholder buy-outs, re-housing costs, demolition, and preparatory construction works.

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