FAQs

Can’t the council just refurbish our homes without building more homes? Or could we just do nothing?

No, by 2020 the money the council receives directly from Government will have been slashed by 79% which is putting huge pressure on our budget. At the same time we know there are issues which residents want addressed on the St Raphael’s Estate and overall we need to build more affordable homes in the borough. Therefore, across Brent, an ambitious new development programme will see empty land used, redundant buildings replaced and old housing estates transformed to provide much needed new housing; primarily affordable housing for rent. This will be paid for in different ways, but there is no option to refurbish existing homes without also creating new homes as it is the new homes that helps pay for these enhancements. Refurbishment means more storeys could be added to existing blocks.

Who will be paying for any works to either refurbish or redevelop the estate?

Funding will come from a range of sources and would depend on what option is chosen. Examples of potential funding:

  • if infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment in which new buildings are added on spaces and increasing the height of current blocks) is chosen, the funding will include being from rents collected and borrowing. Under this option, depending on the proposals, leaseholders might have to pay for the cost of any refurbishment to their homes and communal areas.
  • if comprehensive redevelopment of the estate is chosen, the council will seek funding from the Greater London Authority, in addition to council borrowing. It is also likely that some of the properties built will be sold in the private market, with the funds helping to provide more social housing and new and enhanced community facilities which are unaffordable under infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment).

Will all the properties be included in any refurbishment or redevelopment?

It’s too early to say who will be affected and how, as it will depend which option is chosen by St Raphael’s Estate residents.

How long will any works on the estate take?

It’s too early to say. It will depend on which improvement option is chosen by St Raphael’s residents. As the two options: infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment) or comprehensive redevelopment are developed and refined, more detailed timescales will start to emerge. We expect the consultation about improving St Raphael’s Estate to run from December 2018 to October 2019.

If the residents choose refurbishment what will this look like and will it address overcrowding?

If infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment) is chosen, St Raphael’s residents would be involved in the design of the new homes. This option is focused on existing blocks having more storeys added. This will mean continuing to meet our landlord responsibilities for the quality of homes, and depending on the number of new houses, identifying any additional refurbishment that is required.
However, it is unlikely that infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment) will solve all overcrowding issues as only households who are statutorily overcrowded would be offered new homes on St Raphael‘s where there is new build availability.

How will redevelopment sort out the crime on the estate?

Redevelopment offers the opportunity to look at ways in which the design of the estate can reduce the environment for crime.

What work is currently happening on the estate and how can I report a problem?

Details of current works taking place are available by emailing straphs@brent.gov.uk or please attend one of the drop in sessions in February when housing officers will be available to answer any questions you have.

Will you build on the open space and Brent River Park?

The council, along with the residents and community, will consider how best to use spaces within St Raphael's Estate. It’s too early to say what we will or won’t want to build on of the open space and Brent River Park. However, the council is committed to having great, safe, usable green spaces for St Raphael's and the target is for the maximum protection of green and open space possible.

Is the council planning to cut current services on the estate if a comprehensive redevelopment option is not chosen?

No. Regardless of which option is chosen (infill (partial redevelopment/refurbishment) or comprehensive redevelopment), the council will continue to carry out its landlord duties and functions as appropriate. By 2020 the money we receive directly from Government will have been slashed by 79% which is putting huge pressure on our work in Brent. It’s time for the Government to end the cuts to Brent’s budget so we can speed up our work to make Brent safer, cleaner and greener and to build more affordable housing.