Southwark Council has praised the success of Leathermarket CBS’s resident-led approach to developing new homes, after securing £385,000 of government grant to support the CBS’s plans for new homes on the Joseph Lancaster nursery site on the Lawson Estate.

The Council issued the statement below following the award fo the Government Grant.

Research has shown that council tenants and residents prefer to have the autonomy to deal with the things that matter most to them in relation to their homes.

The council has worked for a long time to ensure that tenants are given this freedom and support to manage their own housing estates and homes as much as possible.

The successful Tenant Managed Organisations (TMOs) in Southwark have gone from strength to strength with their expansion planned as part of the council’s new home building programme, which aims to deliver 11,000 more council homes.

Recently, at Long Lane, (Villiers Court), underused pieces of land and old council buildings have made way for 21 new council homes, which have been included in the hugely successful TMO, Leathermarket JMB, allowing new residents to effectively take control of the running of their homes. These have contribute to the council’s target to build more new council homes.

Southwark Council leads the country in its support for tenant management. Together with Leathermarket JMB – and its resident-led Board – and the Department for Communities and Local Government, Southwark developed the JMB as the country’s first self-financing TMO, changing the law for others to follow in the process.  Southwark Council is one of the few authorities in the country actively seeking to develop tenant management as a real option for residents and its leadership and support in this area has been recognised in a series of national awards.

This month, the council has was awarded a grant £385,000 in the first wave of the Government’s Estate Regeneration Fund in order for it to work with Leathermarket Community Benefit Society (the new-homes arm of the JMB). This will support the building of even more new council homes on the former Joseph Lancaster Nursery site on the Lawson Estate and bring forward plans across the other Leathermarket estates. Provided that the scheme works out, and planning permission is granted, the intention is to start on site by the end of the calendar year and to look at other possible sites for new council homes within the Leathermarket area in the near future.

Chair of Leathermarket CBS, John Paul Maytum MBE, said: “We’re delighted that Government has recognised strength and power of the partnership between Southwark Council and the Leathermarket residents who are leading the design and development of new homes across our estates. We’ve had first class support from the leadership of the council and are particularly grateful to the council officers who pulled out all the stops and burned the midnight oil to make sure we got the bid in and secured this development money.”

Councillor Stephanie Cryan, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for housing at Southwark Council, said, “We have worked long and hard to achieve such a fantastic model for self-managed social housing with Leathermarket JMB – the feedback from residents says it all – they are more satisfied with where they live and they feel in control of their housing. We’re proud to be expanding and building more council homes for them in the north of the borough as part of our borough-wide new homes programme.”