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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

Download it here.

Estates Regeneration: DCLG issue request for expressions of interest 04/03/2016

We previously advised ARCH members that the government had formally launched the new Estate Regeneration Advisory Panel, jointly chaired by Lord Heseltine and Housing Minister Brandon Lewis.

 

The government is now seeking expressions of interest that would lead to estate regeneration proposals as a precursor to formal engagement with the Government Team and potential access to the £140million fund announced by Prime Minister David Cameron.

 

The document 'Estate Regeneration - Statement' published by the Department for Communities and Local Government on 23 February sets out 15 guiding principles for initial engagement with prospective new schemes. A more formal arrangement for accessing the £140 million Estate Regeneration Fund, and for assessment of bids for that fund, will be set in train in due course.

 

Some of the key guiding principles for initial engagement with the government Team are:

 

  • Schemes must deliver regeneration through the redevelopment of existing social housing estates.
  • Development vehicles should be private sector bodies or joint ventures and their leverage finance be classed as private sector borrowing.
  • An assessment of whether multiple or innovative funding sources are being considered including for example S106 agreements, Private Rented Sector partners, or innovative approaches such as social impact bonds.
  • Community engagement - an indication of the level of community support and what sort of consultation has been undertaken and with whom.
  • How arrangements for existing residents are expected to operate.The package must be clear, reasonable and fully supportedand existing residents, including leaseholders, should be entitled to remain on the redeveloped estate or offered equivalent accommodation locally.
  • Ultimately schemes should deliver a net increase in new housing supply and be value for money.

 

The DCLG Statement goes on to provide some examples of models of estate regeneration schemes which have been implemented in the past, to illustrate some different approaches to scheme design, finance and structuring but stresses that these are illustrative and the Government is not necessarily proposing they are replicated.

 

There appears to be no deadline set for expressions of interest but a specific email account has been set up for receiving expressions of interest and general enquiries: EstateRegeneration@communities.gsi.gov.uk

 

ARCH welcomes any additional financial resources to support the regeneration of poorly designed council housing estates and there are some excellent examples of innovative work by stock retained councils and ALMOs in regenerating poorly designed housing estates built in the 60's and 70's some of which are referenced in the Statement.  

 

However, the Savills Research report to the Cabinet Office, on which the programme is based, focusses entirely on London and the London property market.

 

ARCH welcomes the inclusion in the government's guiding principles of a commitment to community engagement including how arrangements for existing residents are expected to operate and an expectation that any scheme must be clear, reasonable and fully supported and that existing residents, including leaseholders, should be entitled to remain on the redeveloped estate or offered equivalent accommodation locally.

 

ARCH is intending to theme the next ARCH Regional Event around estate regeneration. A speaker from the Government Regeneration Team has been invited and ARCH members will be able to learn from the experience of key players in some of the successful regeneration projects referenced in the Government's Estate Regeneration Statement.

 

A provisional date of 26 May 2016 has been set for the next ARCH Regional Event to be held in London. Watch out for further details. 

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