What's really going on with Camden Council's developments and how can we do it better?
What is the CIP Challenge?
Since 2011 Camden Council has run programmes to sell off land and buildings, move to new offices in Kings Cross, build on council land and brownfield sites and, most controversially, redevelop some of its council estates.
The two programmes are called the Community Investment Programme (CIP) and Accommodation Strategy.
As part of the CIP, large numbers of private homes are being built by the Council and marketed as 'The Camden Collection' by Savills, while council homes are currently filled with property guardians in 'regeneration' blocks as they await demolition.
In August 2016, Green opposition Councillor Sian Berry asked Camden under Freedom of Information for detailed information about the progress of projects. This was needed because the reports provided to council committees didn't allow for a full assessment of - for example - the profit made by the Council, the number of homes demolished and the true net gain to Camden of new council homes from the schemes.
After a long delay, the information was provided in February 2017, and this website has been produced by a cross-party and non-party group of residents who are concerned about the results of the Council's current approach.
The CIP Challenge project aims to provide a summary of the data we received, analysis across the Community Investment Programme (CIP) and Accommodation Strategy, and more transparency, with a repository of documents related to each scheme.
In Camden today:
- Rents for a 2-bed flat average £2,080 per month - that's 70% of average household take-home pay in the borough.
- There are 3,763 households in the private rented sector receiving housing benefit.
- Camden has 392 homeless families living in temporary accommodation.
The need for more council homes has never been more urgent
We are also putting forward ideas for better ways to build new homes in Camden, on council and other large public and private sites.
We believe this is best done by avoiding all demolitions of existing council homes, by working with the community for ideas, and by finding new ways to build new council housing and truly affordable homes, which don't involve replacing our estates with thousands of flats Camden residents can't afford.
Cabinet members are due to take a decision on the future of the CIP in September 2017.
But all the options - including putting our council homes into a ‘strategic partnership’ with a big developer - are being discussed behind closed doors in a Labour-only councillor ‘working group’.
We don’t want this decision taken without a proper public debate, and hope we can influence the Council by promoting positive alternatives to business as usual.
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Explore the CIP Challenge