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Public support for resident ballots on regeneration revealed

People living on estates who want a vote over the future of their homes have had their case backed by Londoners, who said they support proposals for resident ballots in a YouGov poll commissioned by Sian Berry AM.

New Start reported in February on Sadiq Khan’s plans for resident ballots, which will apply to schemes funded by the mayor and involving the construction of at least 150 homes and the demolition of any relevant tenanted/ leasehold/ freehold homes.

There are estimated to be around 25 estate regeneration schemes underway at any one time in London involving funding from City Hall, and under the mayor’s plans all such schemes would, in future, require a successful ballot outcome before their funding could be approved.

In the survey, conducted by YouGov, 64% of Londoners supported the mayor’s new proposals for ballots to be a condition of his funding, with just 13% against letting residents decide in this way. A quarter of respondents did not know or didn’t have a view.

‘I want to make sure people living on social housing estates, who have the greatest interest in their future, are at the heart of any decisions from the outset,’ said Mr Khan last month.

‘By involving residents and putting social housing first, we can make sure plans for estate regeneration help build a city for all Londoners.’

Sian Berry asked the mayor to put a hold on any new funding contracts during the ‘transition’ period, while the proposals for binding ballots are out for consultation until 3rd April and not yet in force.

The mayor replied by saying he will be signing no new funding contracts until the consultation has ended and a final guide has been published.

Sian Berry said: ‘If you live on an estate it makes sense that you get a say in what happens to your home. My research shows a majority of Londoners think this is fair. Importantly, my sample was representative of all Londoners not just people who live on estates whose homes are directly threatened with plans for demolition

‘Londoners living on estates have waited a long time to be allowed a say over their homes – but if the Mayor had signed off bad schemes during this interim period that would have been a real betrayal of the principle he has embraced as a result of effective campaigns supported by assembly members here. I am glad that he has promised very clearly today to hold off on new deals and support residents’ rights to a ballot.’

The mayor’s consultation ends on 3rd April and the final funding guidance is expected to come in within months.

Ms Berry’s draft response to the consultation is here.

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