the waiting list in Hammersmith & Fulham for a total of 36 years. Resources are so stretched that last year only 470 new lettings were made. The year before, a total of 131,000 bids were received for council homes and on average each three-bedroom property attracted 157 bids. The proposed new system would mean that access to the housing register will be restricted to those that have a local connection to the borough together with a clear housing need. Those who do not qualify will still be given a package of advice and assistance about their housing options. In many instances, people who will no longer be on the housing list will be in a better position because the council will help them into the private rental sector, as opposed to them waiting many years for a move that will never materialise.
WHITE CITY HEALTH CENTRE
A healthy start to a life-changing base
New fixed-term tenancies are proposed
Have your say on the proposals. Visit: www. citizenspac e. com/lbhf That is because anyone in the UK can apply to the register, which currently stands at 10,300 people. These people are graded according to priority, but with resources so scarce and 94 per cent of people on the list on the lowest priority bands, the chance of ever getting social housing is very small. In fact, one person has been on
Social housing should be a platform of aspiration which enables progression on to other forms of housing
The council is proposing fixed-term tenancies of five years for new social housing lettings. This would be reduced to two years in certain cases. Existing tenants will be unaffected by the new proposals except in some cases where they request a transfer. New tenancies in sheltered accommodation and for those with special housing or health needs would still be on a secure basis. Currently most social housing tenants have the right to stay for life unless the tenancy is brought to an end because of a breach. When a tenant dies, the right of succession passes on to a family member even if the housing need of the individual is less than other potential applicants. The council believes this does not promote aspiration or give tenants any incentive to try to move into home-ownership, and fails to take into account the fact that a household’s need for social housing may be temporary. The current system is also inefficient as it does not recognise that some people may move out of their family home. This can mean, for example, that one resident could be underoccupying their home by two or more bedrooms while another family is grossly overcrowded. The new system will give the council the opportunity to review tenancies and will also encourage good behaviour and greater contributions to community life and the local economy. All this will be taken into account in deciding whether to grant a new tenancy. l Have your say by visiting www.citizenspace.com/lbhf
Dr Tim Spicer, H&F NHS clinical commissioning, at the White City site (artist’s impression, below)
IMPROVING LIFE EXPECTANCY AND WELL-BEING IS AIM OF BUILDING, aS ROB MANSFIELD REPORTS l Building work on a new state-of-the-art health and social care centre for White City has begun. The first brick was laid on the borough’s new one-stop shop for health, social care and children’s services last month by officials from the local council and NHS. The White City Collaborative Care Centre, in Bloemfontein Road, will open its doors to residents, in an area with some of the worst health problems in the borough, from 2014. Costing £13.6million, the cutting-edge new facilities will provide a wide range of health and social care services and have capacity to register 10,000 GP patients initially – growing to 25,000 if required. Community nursing and health visiting, social work services, speech therapy, mental health services, services for children with disabilities and physiotherapy will all be provided from the new centre as well as dentistry, minor surgery and podiatry. One hundred and seventy
flats will be built together with a mini-supermarket and pharmacy, and the neighbouring Wormholt Park will also benefit from a £1million revamp. The new building will sit on the site of the former Janet Adegoke leisure centre and is particularly needed, according to the council, because people who live in the north of the borough have an average life expectancy eight years below those in the south. Nearly a quarter of all year 6 school children in White City and Shepherds Bush are obese, according to a Department of Health report, while stroke deaths are higher than normal and drug misuse is worse than in many other London boroughs. Dr Tim Spicer, chair of NHS Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We have developed a building that will bring a range of health and social care services and real benefits to the residents of White City. “It is a credit to all the local people and community groups that have worked with us and our partners to turn it into a reality.”
Your Hammersmith & Fulham Magazine
YOUR MAGS Pages 74-75 Housing Strategy + White City care centre.indd 2
Your magazine (summer 2012).