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Council Incompetence Blows £2 Million Hole in Housing Budget

March 29, 2009

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Lewisham’s Labour-run Council’s has left a community housing association with a £2million hole in their budget. Investigations by Liberal Democrat councillors have exposed the shortfall, which occurred when the Council transferred its properties in Whitefoot, Downham and Bellingham to Phoenix Community Housing Association in December 2007.

The Council estimated the cost of re-furbishing boarded-up properties on Woodbank Road and Undershaw Road, would be in the region of £7000, but when Phoenix carried out its own surveys the costs were around £100,000, far in excess of the ‘estimates’ provided by the Council.

In total there are 19 properties that are in need of major works of this sort, but as Phoenix constructed its business plan on the information provided by the Council they do not have sufficient funds at this time to do all the works to the properties, which will cost in excess of £2 million.

Phoenix is working hard to improve all its properties in the area, but they have been badly let down by the Council’s incompetence. Worst of all, local residents will have to go on living beside these boarded up wrecks.

There are almost 20,000 people on the housing waiting list in Lewisham, and the longer properties like this remain boarded up, the longer people are going to have to sit on the waiting list.

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