What is the housing situation in Waltham Forest?

The Council has an ambitious programme of development to meet the housing needs and aspirations of local people living in the borough.

Our key priorities are; Meeting our housing delivery target of 1,800 homes per year; Creating great places to live ; Supporting residents’ needs and aspirations; Contributing to the Borough of Culture legacy. As a Council, one of our key priorities is ensuring a decent roof over everyone's head. We have a robust and ambitious Council house-building programme and are working in partnership with housing associations and private developers to make sure that new housing developments in Waltham Forest meet our housing needs and aspirations.

How did the Council decide that the Avenue Road Estate could benefit from redevelopment/regen?

As part of the 2010 Estate Review Report, the Council identified Avenue Road as an estate that could benefit from redevelopment. The Council instructed architects to carry out an initial feasibility on the Avenue Road Estate in June 2018.

What is a Feasibility Study?

A Feasibility Study is an early stage analysis of a potential improvement, development and/or regeneration to an identified estate. They are conducted by a technical team and the studies are designed to give the Council the basic information needed to better understand the investment need required for the estate.

What is a Housing Needs Assessment Survey?

A Housing Needs Assessment is used by Local Authorities to identify residents housing needs. The information gathered helps the Councils make strategic decisions about the best approach to improving residents housing needs.

Why did I have to complete the Housing Needs Assessment Survey?

The Avenue Road Estate was identified in 2010 as an estate that could benefit redevelopment. The Council needed to understand residents current housing needs, the information gathered will inform the estate’s investment need.

What is the role of the Project Team?

The project team is made up of several Consultants:

  • Architects (HTA)
  • Independent Tenant Residents Advisor (Newman Francis)  
  • Viability Consultants (Carter Jonas) 
  • Equality Impact Assessment Specialists (Ottaway)  
  • Landlord Offer Consultant (Askival)

The project team supports the Regeneration Team with resident’s engagement, feasibility and viability studies. The key information captured will highlight the estates investment need options. 

What is the Investment option for the Avenue Road Estate?

In April 2020, Cabinet approved Regeneration - the blocks are demolished and new homes, community space and landscaped areas created along with other community benefits as it’s preferred investment option.

What is the Preferred Options Cabinet report? When was this report presented to Cabinet?

The Council appointed HTA (architects) and Carter Jonas (cost consultants) to carry out viability and feasibility studies that helped the Council understand the investment that the Avenue Road Estate needs. The two studies were presented to the Council’s Cabinet members 23rd April 2020 who agreed that the preferred investment approach should be regeneration.

What investment need option did the Cabinet Members choose?

The Cabinet members decided regeneration of the Avenue Road Estate is the investment need to best meet residents housing needs and improve the estate. The Housing Delivery Team have since then been working with residents on the engagement programme activities to get to the next stage of the process which is the Residents Ballot.

How will the Council engage with residents on proposals during this COVID-19 pandemic and the Government social distancing restrictions?

Prior to COVID-19 and the Government introducing its lockdown measure the project team facilitated several face-to-face workshops.

The Regeneration Team have been working in collaboration with the project team to look at alternative ways to continue meaningful engagement with residents. In line with Governments social distancing measures the team have created a dedicated resident’s website to allow for virtual engagement, that launched on the 10th June 2020. Residents will be able to attend virtual workshops and respond to consultations online.

How can residents get involved?

There lots of ways residents can get involved;  

Become a member of the Avenue Road Estate Project Group (please contact Newman Francis for more information), participate in the virtual workshops, respond to surveys, contact us to let us know your questions/views, view materials on website and let us know other things you would like to see there, participate in face to face consultations when we are allowed to carry these out, attend visits to other regenerated estates when we are allowed to carry these out.

What is a Statutory Consultation?

Local authorities are legally required to consult before reaching a decision on relevant planning applications. Statutory consultations enables residents and key stakeholders to make informed choices, whereby Councils sets out their proposals on major changes to its services.

What is the Section 105?

Under Section 105 of the Housing Act 1985 the Council has a legal obligation to consult with our secure tenants on matters of housing management such as changes to the management, maintenance, improvement or demolition of houses let by them, or changes in the provision of amenities. 

Once the Section 105 of the Housing Act 1985 consultation with secure tenants is carried out and responses considered, the Council has undertaken its statutory duty.

What is the Residents’ Charter?

The Residents’ Charter is a set of principles and commitments from the Council to residents on the Avenue Road Estate. These principles and commitments will guide how the Council and residents work together on the estate redevelopment. This process will be facilitated by Newman Francis (Independent Tenant Resident Advisor).

What is an Equality Impact Assessment Survey?

An equality impact assessment (EqIA) is a process designed to ensure that the proposed redevelopment scheme does not discriminate against any disadvantaged or vulnerable residents living on the Avenue Road Estate. The surveys will be carried out by Ottaway the Council's EqIA specialist.

What is the purpose of the Residents Ballot?

From 18 July 2018, the Mayor requires any landlord (Local Authorities and Housing Associations) seeking GLA (Greater London Authority) funding for estate regeneration projects, which involve the demolition of social homes to show that residents have supported their proposals through a ballot. This is to make sure that GLA funding only supports estate regeneration projects if residents have had a clear say in plans and support them going ahead.

When will the Residents Ballot take place?

We had intended for this ballot to happen in September 2020 but this will now be delayed until January 2021, to allow meaningful engagement to take place with residents so your questions can be answered before voting.

What is Soft Market Testing?

The Council have begun to test the market for potential developers. This ensures that we are ready to begin the design stages should the scheme receive a positive ballot. We do this at an early stage to ensure we invite attention, discuss possibilities and continue to shape and refine the LBWF Avenue Road development before any formal procurement commences. We will keep you regularly informed of our progress.

What EOI (Expression of Interest)?

The Council have prepared and issued its Expression of Interest (EOI) to potential developers for the Avenue Road Estate. This gave the developers an overview of the Avenue Road Estate scheme in further detail and to gain interest in moving to the next stage of the process. This is step 2 of the three part procurement process. The third part will commence after the ballot in January.