Drop-in events announced for Lothian estate residents about threatened “stock transfer” of local council homes

Myatt’s Fields councillors have organised two drop-in events this week for residents on the Lothian estate who want to discuss the threatened “stock transfer” of local council homes to a for profit, private company.

The proposals, if approved by a ballot, could see council tenant homes transferred from Lambeth Council to Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd and PACCA TMO. Earlier this month, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Housing, Councillor Maria Kay, wrote a strongly worded letter to tenants warning these proposals could leave them worse off financially. Local councillors have also raised concerns that leaseholders, owing to national legislation, will be excluded from the ballot, but will have their leases transferred to this private company should tenants vote “yes” to the proposals.

Lothian estate residents can talk to councillors about these issues at two events this week:

Location

St John the Divine community hall, 92 Vassall Road, London, SW9 6JA

Dates

Thursday 24 November, from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

Saturday 26 November, from 11:00am – 12:30pm.

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.

Local councillors are urging council tenants to reject plans for a stock transfer attempt on their homes

Local councillors have urged council tenants on the Lothian estate area (formerly the PACCA TMO area) to reject proposals from a for-profit company to take control of their homes.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) has approved an application by PACCA TMO Limited and Vision Homes (Lambeth) Ltd, a for-profit company, to conduct a ballot on the future ownership of the council properties on the Lothian Estate area. If they are successful in the ballot, the homes will be transferred out of the control of the local council and will be run by Vision Homes.

In a letter to council tenants, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Maria Kay, laid out the reasons why residents should be concerned about these proposals and vote no in the upcoming ballot: you can read her letter in full here.

Myatt’s Fields councillors Annie Gallop and Paul Gadsby have backed Cllr Kay’s comments, saying:

“These proposals have already caused a great deal of alarm in the community: we have received numerous communications from residents who are deeply concerned about how this has happened

“If successful, it will be the first time anywhere in the country where a for-profit company has taken control of council homes in this way. Vision Homes (Lambeth) Limited are a “for profit” company with no track record in owning or managing social housing. They will be able to charge residents more for their services and could pass on control of the housing, and the land on which it sits, to another organisation without a ballot.

“Although only council tenants are able to vote in this ballot, leaseholders in the area will have their lease transferred to the for-profit private company in the event of a “yes” vote”. We do think it is very unfair that leaseholders are unable to vote owing to the rules laid down by very badly drawn-up national legislation.

“We urge residents to make sure they vote No, in this important ballot: its outcome will have an impact on the daily lives of everyone in the Lothian estate area.”

A date for the 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

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.