A Lambeth cabinet member has said regenerating estates is the only way to pay for new council homes after being asked about using resident ballots to secure more funding. 

Cllr Matthew Bennett, the member for planning, investment, and new homes, made the comments ahead of full council next week after a question from Green party co-leader of the opposition, Cllr Jonathan Bartley. 

Cllr Bartley said he received a letter from the Deputy Mayor of London who told him only three of the estates set for demolition will now be getting GLA funding.  

“However, he said that if residents on estates were given a say in their future through a ballot, they could qualify for GLA funding.  

“Which estates will receive GLA funding and will the cabinet member now ballot residents on its estates?” he said.  

Cllr Bennett said estate regeneration is “the only route to building better quality” council homes.  

“We are building new council housing to provide a secure home for some of the 33,000 people on the council’s waiting list for housing, including over 2,000 homeless families.  

“Estate regeneration is also the only route to building better quality homes for our existing tenants on some estates as there is currently no GLA grant available for refurbishment of existing homes and the council has already borrowed to deliver £500m of investment in our estates through the Lambeth Housing Standard works. 

“With regard to affordable housing grant funding, the current GLA affordable housing funding round runs from 2016 to 2021. Funding from this round has been used at Knights Walk,” he said.  

Cllr Bennett added that the scheme is going ahead with “the full support of residents who desperately want brand new homes built to the highest standards”, while Knights Walk, Westbury, and South Lambeth estates “all received Housing Zone funding from the GLA”.  

The cabinet member said Homes for Lambeth will consider future funding options to “boost the numbers of new affordable homes on the estates”. 

He said “that includes the use of right to buy receipts”.  

Cllr Bennett added that the council is “committed to ensuring residents are at the heart of decision-making on the future of their estates”. 

“For example, the decision to rebuild the Central Hill estate was taken following extensive consultation and engagement with residents.  

“The consultation exercise was carried out by an external, professional organisation, and showed that 55 per cent of council tenants supported the proposal to completely rebuild the estate,” he said.