Estate ballots

[April 2018 + later additions at the end.] Just Space responds to the Mayor of London’s Consultation on whether and how ballots should be held as a pre-condtion for estate “regeneration” schemes which  involve demolition of people’s homes. The response is firm and strong, calling for

  • the Mayor to use planning powers as well as grant-making powers
  • all schemes involving demolition to be covered, not just big schemes
  • ballots to be held early in consultations to reduce the anxiety and disruption of  lives which result from uncertainty
  • voting eligibility must include all household members, not just those named in tenancies or on council waiting lists;  the age cutoff should be 16 and ballots should include tenants who have already been moved moved away but expressed an interest in returning after redevelopment.

The full Just Space response is here. estate regeneration ballots – Just Space response

It reflects discussion of the consultation at numerous meetings and comments by member organisations on a draft.  Many of the organisations which make up Just Space have made their own responses and we’ll link them here as soon as we get them. There is a great deal of unanimity among the responses we have seen so far and a lot of detailed (and bitter) experience.
estate regeneration ballots LTF response

Cressingham Gardens Estate response (link)

estate regeneration ballots Prof Loretta Lees Response.

Dr Sendra and Dr Fitzpatrick response (UCL research project)

London First arguing in an article that all those on the waiting list should have a vote! and full submission estate regeneration ballots London First response

In the latest edition of its weekly newsletter, LDN – London in short, LCA reports: “The housing association sector, as represented by the National Housing Federation (NHF) and g15 group, appears to have cautiously welcomed the policy, while recommending that ballots only be mandatory for schemes where a significant percentage of homes are earmarked for demolition. Moreover a Freedom of Information (FOI) request published this March revealed that several London Boroughs including Tory-led Westminster, as well as Labour-led Hackney, Harrow and Lambeth already expressed reservations about such measures in an earlier consultation, held last year. More recently, Green Party AM Sian Berry cited a YouGov poll she commissioned as evidence that ‘64% of Londoners polled backed ballots for estate residents.’ A closer look at the detailed polling data released by YouGov suggests that the public’s understanding of and views on the policy are actually more nuanced. Indeed, the survey includes a second question not mentioned in either AM Berry’s blog or a relevant Assembly announcement, which asked whether ‘regeneration of estates should or should not be able to go ahead if it is opposed by existing residents?’ While 38% said they should not, 26% said they should be able to go ahead, and a full 36% said they simply don’t know. “

Details on how the mayor signed off a large number of schemes so they would escape the new ballot rules have been gathered and analysed by Sian Berry AM.  Some London boroughs’ responses to the earlier consultation on estate regeneration (March 2017) have been obtained by Sian Berry AM and placed in the cloud at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1pwLCBuo72SyYOe3XuswEScecGrYr2mQa

[later] The Mayor’s supplementary guidance finally appeared in July 2018 Resident Ballots for Estate Regeneration Projects and has disappointed and infuriated tenants and residents. A strong critical commentary by Architects for Social Housing (ASH) has appeared in August 2018.