“There is a huge silent majority of people that have been moved out of the Heygate that are happy in their new homes.”
“I could no longer afford to stay in the area and, in the end, the offer I was made plus £45,000 of my life savings bought me a terraced property 15 miles out of London. I have, I feel, given up my home to accommodate the building of homes for overseas investors.”
In our last blog post we corrected some of the more fanciful claims that council leader Peter John made about the rehousing of Heygate tenants. We showed that only 45 Heygate tenants have actually been rehoused in new homes. We now also know that only around 1 in 5 Heygate secure tenants actually remain in the SE17 postcode (216 tenants out of 1034). This information comes from a response to an FOI request. The rest have been scattered to the outer corners of the borough and beyond:
While we know what has happened to the secure tenants, Southwark can supply no information about where the 438 insecure tenants were rehoused. These are tenants who had moved onto the estate since Jan 2001, when Southwark stopped issuing proper council secure tenancies, and started using the estate for temporary accommodation. Such insecure tenants had no right at all to a new property out of the regeneration. Those who were eligible for council housing, will in most cases have been moved into existing council stock throughout the borough.
We are still gathering information about leaseholders. What we know so far is that they have moved furthest of all residents, as the following illustration shows:
Around half have relocated to SE postcodes (including Woolwich, Thamesmead and Welling), most of the rest have had to move to suburbs such as Sidcup, St. Albans, Chelmsford, Croydon, Bexleyheath, Ilford, Romford, Dartford, Cheshunt, Mitcham and West Thurrock. The reason for this is clear: the very low levels of compensation leaseholders have received for their Heygate homes. This link has a full list of the amounts paid to Heygate leaseholders. It is compiled from information received through Freedom of Information requests, and includes an indexed column showing today’s value of the settlements.
The average compensation paid for a 1 bed flat is £108,164 (indexed to today’s value). Owners of 2 bed flats received on average £122,140, 3 bed maisonettes £185,070 and 4 bed maisonettes £209,440. Some homeowners got particularly poor deals: one leaseholder received just £32,000 for a 1 bed flat in 2008.
Compare this to the cost of the new Heygate homes as advertised by Lend Lease. These start at £330k for a 1 Bed flat, £455k for a 2 Bed flat and £590k for a 3 Bed - (www.trafalgarplace.com)
With shared ownership flats requiring a minimum income of £57k and just 82 of the 2,704 new homes at social rents, not many residents - whether tenant or a leaseholder - will be exercising their right to return to the new Heygate.