Housing strategy

Tenancy Policy

The City Council’s Tenancy Policy sets out its approach to flexible tenancies (brought in by the Localism Act 2011) in its own housing stock. The policy follows the principles of the Tenancy Strategy (which is a guide to all social housing with stock in Westminster in their approach to fixed term tenure). The Tenancy Policy also sets out the City Council’s general approach to tenancy management and housing fraud.

A summary is also available here.

For any further information about the Tenancy Policy contact: Cecily Herdman, Housing Strategy Team, 10th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP. Tel: 020 7641 2789.  Email: cherdman@westminster.gov.uk  

Draft Tenant Decant Policy for Renewal Areas

The City Council is undertaking statutory consultation regarding the rehousing of secure tenants living in homes on renewal estates. The draft policy sets out the rehousing options for secure tenants where there are proposals or plans to redevelop their home. It applies to areas and estates identified for regeneration in the Housing Renewal Strategy. The consultation runs until 17 June 2013.  NB This period has now been extended until 30 June 2013.

A number of consultation sessions have been arranged where tenants can discuss the policy face-to-face with Council Officers.

For further information about the policy or to respond to the consultation please contact; Rebecca Ireland, Housing Needs Officer,  10th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP. Tel: 020 7641 2578. Email rireland@westminster.gov.uk

Home Energy Conservation Act Report (HECA)

In July 2012, the Government issued new guidance for local authorities in respect of the Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA).  The new guidance placed a requirement on all English authorities with housing responsibilities to prepare a report setting out  "the energy conservation measures that the authority considers practical, cost-effective, and likely to result in significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in its area".

The guidance asks authorities to publish their first report by 31 March 2013 on their website.  Westminster City Council's HECA report can be downloaded here.

Draft Leaseholder Policy for Regeneration Areas

The council is consulting on its Draft Leaseholder Policy for Regeneration Areas. The draft policy sets out the proposed offer to leaseholders where there are proposals or plans to acquire their properties. It applies to areas and estates identified for regeneration in the Housing Renewal Strategy. The consultation lasts until 25th February 2013. 

A summary of the draft policy is also available.

For any further information about the policy or to respond to the consultation contact; Cecily Herdman, Housing Strategy,  10th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP. Tel: 020 7641 2789. Email cherdman@westminster.gov.uk

Tenancy Strategy

The council has published a Tenancy Strategy setting out its approach to fixed term tenure and rent increases for higher earning social housing tenants. In line with the Localism Act 2011, all social landlords in Westminster are expected to have regard to the strategy when developing or updating policies for their own housing stock.

For any further information about the strategy contact Cecily Herdman, Housing Strategy, 10th Floor City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP.  Tel: 020 7641 2789. Email  cherdman@westminster.gov.uk

Affordable Rent Statement

In September 2011, the council developed an interim Affordable Rent Statement setting out the rent levels it supports. The statement is expected to guide Private Registered Providers (Housing Associations) when they are setting their rent levels.  The statement will be regularly reviewed and will be incorporated into the City Council’s Tenancy Strategy in 2012.

Read the Statement here (pdf format)

For more information about the Affordable Rent Statement contact Fergus Coleman: Housing Association Supply Manager  fcoleman@westminster.gov.uk Tel 020 7641 2129. 

Housing Renewal Strategy

Last year we invited residents and other stakeholders to take part in our public consultation to develop a Housing Renewal Strategy.  We received over 100 responses which provided views and suggestions to help us finalise the strategy.  It was approved by the council’s Cabinet on 22nd February 2010.

We made seven key changes to the strategy as a result of the feedback we received.  We have:

  1. Revised our objectives to place increased emphasis on health, well-being and environmental sustainability
  2. Included Westbourne Green as a fifth area to develop a master plan for (in addition to Church Street, Tollgate Gardens, Brunel and Ebury Bridge)
  3. Committed to examine other areas our respondents have suggested for renewal
  4. Included what we will be doing with homes and estates that aren’t within the Housing Renewal Programme
  5. Committed to develop clear policies on people’s right of return to renewal estates and the transfer of tenancy rights, options for leaseholders, and a preference for local people when letting or purchasing new homes
  6. Made a clear statement that we will not proceed with specific renewal proposals for a neighbourhood when there is a lack of agreement amongst residents and local representatives.
  7. Committed to hold a renewal conference in early 2011 to discuss findings emerging from our master plans.

Please email any comments to renewalstrategy@westminster.gov.uk 

Or reply by mail to:

Daniel McCarthy, Head of Housing Strategy & Performance, Westminster City Council, 9th floor, City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6QP

If you would like to speak to an officer about the Renewal Strategy, please telephone 020 7641 3097. 

Housing Strategy 2007-12

Westminster's new housing strategy is now available. The strategy is based largely on the findings of the independent Westminster Housing Commission (more information below) and has been supplemented by extensive consultation with residents and partner organisations. Download a copy by clicking on the link below.

2006 Housing Needs Assessment

Every five years the council undertakes an assessment of housing needs in the city, which involves a face-to-face survey of a sample of households living in all tenures. The assessment follows a methodology set out by Government, and is used to inform both housing and planning policies adopted by the council, particularly policies around the provision of affordable housing. The council's 2006 assessment was carried out by Fordham Research and is based on a sample of over 1,200 residents.

Homelessness Strategy

Westminster first published a Homelessness Strategy in 2003. This was updated in 2004 and 2008. The strategy sets out how the council manages and responds to homelessness within the city. Click on the links below to view the main document and the two updates.