Lothian estate homes transfer to for-profit company ‘will raise rents’, claims senior councillor.

Controversial plans by a private for-profit company to take control of a housing estate in Myatt’s Fields have been condemned by Lambeth council’s housing chief.

Rents are likely to rise if Vision Homes, a for-profit company, succeeds in taking over properties on the Lothian estate, according to Cllr Maria Kay, Lambeth’s cabinet member responsible for homelessness and better homes.

In a strongly-worded letter to residents, Cllr Kay says says people who live in the area risk higher rents and service charges if they vote to accept the proposal from Vision Homes which, she claims, has no registered employees and no track record of managing properties.

Vision Homes, working alongside Pacca TMO, which used to run the estate, intends to ballot residents on the proposal in the near future — although no date for the vote has been revealed by the company.

In her letter, Cllr Kay, who has been talking to residents alongside local Councillors Annie Gallop and Paul Gadsby, said Vision Homes has “no registered employees and no track record in owning, developing, or even managing social housing.

“The proposals from Vision Homes could mean you pay more: from your rents and service charges to the repairs and maintenance activities to your homes, as Vision Homes would charge VAT on top of these costs,” she said. “If Vision Homes were to also sell your homes to another company in the future, they will not be required to ballot or obtain consent from the Housing Regulator.”

“It is unclear to me how they will fund the promises they are making to you and your neighbours. Vision Homes’ plans don’t add up, and they do not make financial sense.”

You can read Cllr Kay’s letter here.

Lothian estate residents will be left “worse off” if stock transfer goes ahead

Secure tenants and leaseholders on the Lothian estate will be “left worse off” should control of their homes pass to a for-profit private company, Lambeth’s Housing Cabinet Member has claimed.

The statement came in an answer to questions submitted by Myatt’s Fields councillors Paul Gadsby and Annie Gallop at Lambeth Council’s public meeting on Wednesday 19 October. Residents and local councillors have already voiced their concerns about a ballot that could see PACCA TMO Limited and Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd, a for-profit company take over ownership of the council properties on the Lothian Estate area.

Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd have no track record of running social housing and have been, according to Lambeth Housing Cabinet Member Cllr Maria Kay, “unclear” about how they will fund a list of expensive promises to residents.

Cllr Kay also expressed concerns that if there was a “yes” vote in the ballot, the ownership of homes could be passed by Vision Homes to another owner, without the consent of residents. She also confirmed that leaseholders are excluded by national legislation from taking part in the ballot.

You can read the full text of Cllr Gadsby and Cllr Gallop’s questions at the meeting here, listed under questions four and nineteen.

If you worried or confused about this proposed takeover and want to know more, you can contact your local councillors Paul and Annie here – and give us your views on the proposals here.

A date for the proposed ballot has yet to be set but is likely to be in the next few months. Council tenant and leaseholder properties affected by these proposals are on the following streets:

  • Lothian Road (Dalkeith House, Silverburn House and Bathgate House)
  • Langton Road
  • Frederick Crescent
  • Myatt Road
  • Halsmere Road
  • Patmos Road
  • Tindall Street
  • Elliott Road
  • Cancell Road