The Government has announced a proposal to contribute £140 million of funding to regenerate 100 run-down council estates. The intention is to unlock and encourage wide scale investment by pension funds and other institutions. Regeneration often involves the construction of new private residential units to subsidise construction of new affordable homes. It also nearly always involves purchasing properties sold under the right to buy (either through CPO or voluntarily), and also obliging the council tenants to become housing association tenants (with an impact on their rights leading to them being able to vote on the transfer, in some instances). All of these factors lead to estate regeneration taking years to progress and perhaps suiting the temperament of bodies like pension funds or registered providers. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.
Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, commented: “There are some very old council estates that are in need of regeneration, but that process must treat existing residents fairly. "The government is therefore right to put some sorts of guarantees at the forefront of its policy and encourage a partnership approach. There are investors in our membership, pension funds and the like, who will be very interested in how they can contribute to those partnerships. “Communities need not only homes, but jobs, schools and green spaces and other leisure opportunities to create places people want to live in. If the government gets this right it could be some of the best use of £140m it has ever spent.”