Due both to lack of security of tenure and a lack of different types of housing stock, many find it hard to stay in Waterloo if they have to downsize or upgrade due to shifts in the size of the family. This affects those in private and social housing and leads to a variety of problems, including overcrowding and loss of social cohesion.
Affordable housing delivered through development is unlikely to be affordable for most. There is a need to accommodate those on low to middle incomes who work in local sectors that require employees to live close to work, including hospitality and healthcare.
New affordable housing made available for the following target groups would
i. Low-to-middle income people working within the neighbourhood area
ii. Older people from the area wishing to downsize to one bedroom flats
iii. Elderly people in need of live-in care
Proposals which incorporate features to accommodate one or more of the target groups identified in P4 will be supported. These include, but are not limited to:
ii. Unit sizes which meet minimum size standards as set out in the London Plan
Where affordable housing cannot be delivered on site, consideration should be given to making land in the neighbourhood area available to a local designated community land trust to bring forward affordable housing in partnership with a registered housing provider.
Residential development should provide high quality homes which are designed to
encourage well-maintained permanent use. Housing should not be developed as a liquid asset but to provide mitigation of the UK housing shortage. Housing developments should be marketed to prospective buyers in the UK before they are marketed overseas.
SoWN seeks a community solution to the shortage of affordable housing, aiming for a management structure which enables local ownership and oversight of housing. There should be more local control over housing (e.g. co-ops, community land trusts, neighbourhood housing agencies), with the ability to raise additional funding. Developers that can help to facilitate such arrangements will be welcomed by the community.
It is essential to encourage innovative new approaches to form, design and management which address the local context and local need. For instance, the ‘Pocket’ flats concept, comprising small well-designed units designed for young professionals is supported in certain conditions but the Planning Authority should encourage other proposals which meet community need
Although largely outside the role of the planning system, new approaches are needed to protect tenants in the private rented sector, including both incentives and penalties for landlords. Boroughs should support such measures as set out in the DCLG’s Rogue Landlords discussion paper.
Following the example of Westminster and Enfield, Lambeth and Southwark should also consider the purchase of properties in the area to house vulnerable people, reducing revenue costs in the long term.