Frequently Asked Questions.
Below are a list of questions and/or misinterpretations residents have had, and here we would like to address some of those;
Options Appraisal Process
1. What is an option appraisal?
An options appraisal is simply looking at a number of options for the future of the estate that take into consideration what is good about the current homes, what residents don’t like about the current homes and whether the options can be afforded.
As part of the process, One Housing has been holding a series of consultations, these will continue over the coming months, during which several different options will be developed with the community. This includes options such as; nothing changes, refurbishment, partial demolition and infill construction (building on vacant land) as well as demolition and redevelopment.
We are currently in Phase 2 of the options appraisal process and have now carried out two exhibition events. (one in person and one virtually) During these phases’ residents are asked to comment on the options that they see. The options you have seen so far have not contained lots of detail, and you have not been asked to make any final decisions, this is because the design of the options will continue to change in ongoing consultation cycles based on your feedback. In this way we ensure that as far as possible the options reflect the wants of the local community.
Your feedback will influence what changes are made to each option to make them as good as they can be. A final option will not be presented until the end of consultation when you are asked to vote in a ballot.
As these options become more detailed, they will continue be assessed by residents and a number of consultants (planning & financial consultants for example) in order to settle upon a single, realistic preferred option.
That option will then be put to a resident ballot. In this way, residents will decide whether it goes ahead.
2. Why do you need resident feedback at every stage?
Resident feedback is used to inform the designs; therefore, your feedback is critical. At each stage the architects will present ideas, and these will change and develop based on your feedback.
3. Will residents get to vote on any proposals?
Yes, at the end of the option appraisal process a resident ballot will be held on the preferred option. The proposal will only be taken forward if a majority of votes are in favour of the option.
4. Is there a minimum threshold for turnout at the ballot?
The GLA (Greater London Authority) does not set out a minimum turnout for the number of votes in a ballot. The outcome of a ballot will be decided on a simple majority of the number of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes received from eligible voters. A ballot is only required to be held in any option which includes the demolition of any social homes and/or the construction of more than 150 new homes. However, One Housing wants residents to have the final say and will hold a vote on whatever is the preferred option.
5. Who is eligible to vote in a ballot?
The GLA (Greater London Authority) sets the eligibility requirements for voting. All social housing tenants are eligible to vote. If you have a joint tenancy agreement both tenants have a vote. Resident leaseholders who have been living on the estate for at least 12 months prior to the date that the landlord offer has been published are eligible to vote. If two or more people are named on the lease for their property all leaseholders have a vote. Any resident who lives on the estate and has been on the London Borough of Tower Hamlets housing register for at least 12 months prior to the date the landlord offer has been published are eligible to vote.
My home and my estate
1. If my current home is demolished as part of any regeneration option, will I be able to move back to the new development when it’s finished?
Yes, this is called ‘right to return’ if your home is demolished as part of any option, you would have the right to return to a new home that meets your needs on the estate. Your rent will also stay the same, for more information about your rent, please see Q1 under ‘Finances’ below.
2. I am currently overcrowded; will this be solved as part of any regeneration option?
Not all options will be able to solve overcrowding. As the options appraisal progresses, we will make it clear in the consultation booklet which options could solve overcrowding and those which will not. If your home is demolished as part of any option, you will be rehoused in a home that suits your family size.
3. Minimum space standards, what does this mean?
The government has set a minimum space standard for all new build homes. This is not just about the number of bedrooms increasing, but the size of the home in general. In any new home we would aim to re-provide the same size property or larger and all new homes would be built to minimum space standards.
4. Will my tenancy rights be kept (preserved) if I am required to move away and then come back once the regeneration is complete?
Yes, as long as you move to another One Housing property.
Some tenants may voluntarily decide to transfer away permanently from the regeneration area and give up their right to return. These residents may move to a property that is not owned or managed by One Housing. These residents would retain their core rights as assured tenants, but some details may differ. We would advise any resident considering this to review the new tenancy thoroughly before committing to it, and advice is available from your Independent Resident Adviser Lee Page and also the Resident Advocate Mike Tyrrell, you can find their details on the ‘Our Consultation’ tab.
5. Will I be required to move away because of any of these options?
Possibly, some options will require temporary moves and others will not. As the options develop further, we will make it clear how much disruption each option will cause. In a partial or full demolition option the architects would design things in a way that minimizes disruption as much as possible, and ensure as many people as possible only need to move once (from their current home, straight into a new home) this is called ‘phasing.’ If your home is demolished as part of any option, you may decide to move to a home away from either Alice Shepherd House or Oak House permanently, this will be your choice.
6. Will I lose my parking space as a result of any option?
7. If you build new homes on my estate as part of any regeneration option, who is going to be living in them?
There would be a mixture of new affordable homes for social housing tenants, new homes at current rent for existing tenants, private sale to help with the cost of the replacement homes for existing tenants and shared ownership (part buy, part rent).
1. Will I lose my parking space as a result of any option?
1. Will my rent go up because of these options?
No, your rent will remain at the same as it is now, unless you need to move to home with more or less bedrooms. In that case you would pay the current rent for that size property. Your rent will continue to change in April each year, as it does already in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 1%.
2. Will my service charge go up because of these options?
Probably. At this moment we can’t say by how much because we don’t know which option residents will choose. Improved services, whether in a refurbished block or in a new block, will likely lead to an increased charge. One Housing will keep any increases as low as possible and residents will be involved in deciding on what the option will be and what services will be provided. Having said that, any refurbished or new homes should be cheaper to run (i.e. your gas/electric/water bills should be less) and it is hoped that this will offset any increase in service charges. We will provide an estimate of service charge before the ballot on the preferred option.
3. Will my utility bills (electricity, gas, water etc) go up because of these options?
Generally, Newer buildings bills are lower than older buildings and this is because a new building is (in most cases) much more energy efficient than an older one. We will aim to provide some estimated utility cost comparisons as part of the option appraisal.
4. Will my council tax go up because of the regeneration?
Possibly. If the regeneration increases the value of your building, then this could lead to an increase in council tax as bands may be higher. Any new buildings constructed as part of a regeneration option are likely to have higher council tax than the current homes, this is because the property is worth more. Bands and costs are set by the Local Authority and One Housing have no say in what the banding will be on new properties.