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RUN-DOWN ENGLISH ESTATES TO RECEIVE£142M FACELIFT

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Forty of England's most run-down estates have won a share of a massive£142m investment programme, announced housin...
Forty of England's most run-down estates have won a share of a massive£142m investment programme, announced housing minister David Curry today.

Fourteen local authorities are to be given the money under the Estates Renewal Challenge Fund (ERCF) to transform conditions for thousands of tenants in some 22,000 homes.

The money will be used for repairs and renovations and for transfer of ownership of the estates to new social landlords, once tenants have agreed by means of ballot.

The public funding will pull an additional investment of almost£300m into the estates from the private sector.

Mr Curry said:

'The regeneration of our old and needy estates needs the cooperation of everyone - residents, local government, police, businesses - to succeed. The money available in this Fund will change the lives of thousands of people for the better, improving housing conditions and bringing the spirit of the community back. This is a dynamic form of public and private sector partnership.

'I am delighted that so many local authorities are seriously considering the housing transfer route, which is the only realistic and sensible answer to many of the housing problems existing on estates built a generation ago and suffering from multiple problems. We cannot go back to the days of sole state provision for social housing, and so must look to other avenues for the means to improve our housing - partnership between the public and private sectors to mobilise investment is the way forward.'

The transfer of estates to new landlords, such as housing associations or local housing companies in which local authorities and tenants retain a stake, will only go ahead with the agreement of tenants.

The winning estates are as follows:

1. Local Authority: Basildon

Units to be transferred: 720

Allocation:£6.77m (£0.505m in 97/98)

Estate: Vange

A scheme to transfer 720 ex-New Town properties on the 1960s-built Vange estate to a new local housing company (part of Anglia Housing Association Group). The stock is a mixture of houses and flats of non-traditional construction which means that refurbishment costs are high.

2. Local authority: Harlow

Units to be transferred: 179

Allocation:£1.495m (all in 97/98)

Estate: Berecroft

The proposal is to transfer 179 dwellings on the Berecroft Estate to Berecroft Community Housing Trust, a new local housing company within Anglia Housing Association Group.

3. Local Authority: LB Camden

Units to be transferred: 267

Allocation:£1.418m (£0.121m in 97/98)

Estate: Strawberry Vale

Strawberry Vale is an out-of-borough estate, located in Barnet, jointly owned by Camden (who manage the estate) and Islington. The 267 brick built, low rise properties will be transferred to an existing housing association.

4. Local Authority: Hackney Units to be transferred: 3551 Allocation:£28.181m (£3.446 in 97/98) Estates: Shore, Morningside, Old Gascoyne, Old Kingshold, Pembury, Hillside, Hindle, Kennaway, George Downing/Keats, Stamford Hill Hackney have put forward a scheme in three parts under Round 2 to follow on from their successful Round 1 bid. All the ERCF schemes part of the borough's Estates Renewal Strategy. The round 2 schemes will transfer 3 packages of homes to Sanctuary Housing Association, Newlon Housing Association, and Southern Housing Group. The estates contain mostly brick-built flats from the inter-war period in need of modernisation and work to counter crime and vandalism.

5. Local Authority: Hammersmith and Fulham Units to be transferred: 703 Allocation:£7.02m (£1.583m in 97/98) Estates: Old Oak

A scheme to transfer 703 properties on the Old Oak estate to an existing housing association. Old Oak is a cottage-style estate built between 1912 and 1923 which is now a conservation area. The dwellings are very small and unmodernised, and the layout and environmental quality of the estate is generally poor. The ERCF bid is linked to SRB proposals for the area.

6. Local Authority: LB Lambeth - Lansdowne Green Estate Units to be transferred: 681 Allocation:£8.547m (£1.125m 97/98) Estates: Landsdowne Green

A scheme to transfer 681 properties on the Lansdowne Green estate to South London Family Housing Association. The estate was built in the mid-1950s and is very rundown with high levels of crime. Lambeth were successful in Round 1 with their ERCF scheme for the Moorlands estate.

7. Local Authority: Newham Units to be transferred: 356 Allocation: £1.939m (£0.399m in 97/98) Estates: Stanford le Hope in Thurrock, Rookery Farm in Barking and Dagenham

A proposal to transfer two small out-of-borough estates, Stanford Le Hope in Thurrock and Rookery Farm in Barking and Dagenham, totalling 356 properties, to Samuel Lewis Housing Trust. Around half the properties at Stanford Le Hope are Wimpey 'No Fines' and Rookery Farm has some defective steel frame houses. ERCF proposals are linked to a local employment/training package to benefit tenants. Newham were successful in Round 1 with their bid to transfer properties on the Woodlands estate.

8.Local Authority: Southwark Units to be transferred: 296 Allocation:£3.354m (£0.613m in 97/98) Estates: Dawsons Heights

A scheme to transfer 296 properties on Dawsons Heights estate in East Dulwich to Samuel Lewis Housing Trust. The estate comprises two large flat roofed blocks, varying from 4-12 storeys, with continuous deck access. All the dwellings are split-level maisonettes. The estate occupies an imposing hilltop location, on the site of a former Roman fort. The steep slopes, however, have led to serious ground movement problems. Although the main blocks are secure, all associated structures are showing signs of subsidence.

9.Local Authority: Tower Hamlets - Poplar Units to be transferred: 2,887 Allocation:£18.974m (£4.966m in 97/98) Estates: Aberfeldy, Bromley, Bow Bridge, Coverntry Cross West,Lansbury, Lincoln, Teviot

A scheme to transfer 2,887 properties on 6 estates to a local housing company (Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association). It follows on directly from Tower Hamlets successful Round 1 ERCF scheme for Poplar and is part of the Borough's regeneration strategy. All the estates are extremely rundown. There is serious overcrowding and high child densities in both Poplar and Cityside. The proposed works include block extensions and knock-throughs to create larger units. Taken with Cityside, this is the largest Round 2 bid.

10. Local Authority: Tower Hamlets - Cityside Units to be transferred: 2,322 Allocation:£17.692m (£2.490m in 97/98) Estates: Berner, Bigland, Boundary, Martineau, Minerva, St Georges, St Peters, Solander Gardens, Tarling

A scheme to transfer 2,322 properties on 9 estates to a local housing company (Cityside Housing and Regeneration Community Association). Estates include the Boundary Estate, the first London County Council built estate, completed in 1901 and Grade II listed. As with Poplar, all the estates are extremely deprived, with serious overcrowding.

11. Local Authority: Liverpool Units to be transferred: 493 Allocation: £6.488m (£4.032m in 97/98) Estates: Windermere Green, Carter Thackeray

A scheme to transfer 493 properties on Carter Thackeray and the adjacent Windermere Green estates to two existing housing associations. The properties are Wimpey homes built in the 1970s and 1980s. The stock has deteriorated extremely quickly with rotting woodwork and poor insulation. Other problems are the Radburn layout at Carter Thackeray and crime and environmental degradation on both estates.

12. Local Authority: Manchester Units to be transferred: 6926 Allocation:£20.946m (£3.126m in 97/98) Estates: East Wythenshawe

A scheme to transfer 6,926 properties on East Wythenshawe estate to a local housing company. A large scheme at the centre of a regeneration area with a high concentration of social housing. The stock of 1930's traditional houses and post-war houses and tower blocks is in need of substantial modernisation and environmental improvements.

13. Local Authority: Oldham Units to be transferred: 647 Allocation:£5.736m (£0.557 in 97/98) Estates: Limehurst

A scheme to transfer 647 properties on Limehurst Village estate to a new housing association subsidiary. The estate is mainly made up of houses built in the 1940s and 1950s, a third of which are of non-traditional construction.

14.Local Authority: Sandwell Units to be transferred: 1522 Allocation:£9.141m (£0.982m in 97/98) Estates: Greets Green

A scheme to transfer 1,522 properties on Greets Green estate in West Bromwich to a new local housing company. The properties are inter-war traditional family houses which require a high level of catch-up repairs. This follows on from Sandwell's successful Round 1 ERCF bid and is backed by the Sandwell Regeneration Partnership.

15. Local Authority: Bradford Allocation:£4.592m (£2.868m in 97/98) Estates: Thorpe Edge

A scheme to transfer 598 properties on the Thorpe Edge estate to a subsidiary or local housingcompany within Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing Association. Thorpe Edge is a system built estate, built in the 1950s and 1960s, on a steep facing slope which exposes the area badly to inclement weather. Many of the walk-up flats are now beyond repair. The scheme involves the demolition of 713 units, to be replaced with 600 new homes, and transfer of the remaining 598 flats.

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