A timeline that combines histories of legislation and Lambeth’s housing management technologies, practices, and strategies. The list includes key housing decisions, statistics, and technical entities related to the management of Lambeth’s housing stock.
“We work on a job, then if we see an issue in the house next door which is causing the problem, we can’t fix it as we have to do what we’re told”
1100: The British Enclosure Acts removed the prior rights of local people to land. Enclosure refers to the consolidation of land, usually for the stated purpose of making it more productive.
1700: Enclosure Acts became more commonplace with the rise of new agricultural knowledge and technology in the 18th century (McElroy 2012).
1890: Housing of the Working Classes Act 1890 gave powers to clear slum areas and build municipal housing for displaced residents. As a response, the London County Council instigated the construction of Britain’s first council housing estates including the Millbank Estate built 1897-1902 on the site of a former Penitentiary in London’s Westminster (Boughton 2013), and the Boundary Estate in the east end of London constructed 1893-1899 (Hanley 2012, 56).
1900: Lambeth established as an administrative area titled “Metropolitan Borough of Lambeth”.
1930: The Housing Act of 1930, following the first world war, encouraged further slum clearance, and councils set to work to identify, demolish and replace poor quality housing through refined powers of compulsory purchase which can be traced back to enclosure acts of the 12th century.
1940s-60s: Large-scale house building continued, with the development of first and second wave new town developments between the 1940s and 1960s supported by the New Towns Act 1946 (Orlans 2013). While the 1956 Housing Subsidies Act saw the increased construction of high rise blocks of flats during the 1950s and 1960s (Paris 2013), councils built fewer homes from the 1970s onwards.
1961: The Land Compensation Act enshrined in law the right of landowners to be reimbursed for its potential value if it were used for something else in the future.
1965: The Compulsory Purchase Act 1965 set conditions for purchase of properties forcably obatined by the state.
1972: The Rateable Value(RV) of a property was a means of collecting local Taxes before 1990. RV values changed to the Poll Tax and now the Council Tax. The Gross Value (GV) and the Rateable Value’s (RV) for both domestic (dwellings) and non-domestic properties were set out in the 1973 Valuation Lists. The Valuation Office Agency disposed of their copies of the 1973 Lists and Direction binders after they offered them to the respective Local Authority. These Lists were only ever produced in hardcopy. Homeowner contributions to repairs on Cressingham Gardens Estate are still calculated using RV values which Lambeth print on service charge statements.
“A tenant will call up and ask for a new plug in a kitchen. Contractors get there and realise its a plumbing job, not a an electricians job. You get that all the time”
1980: Right To Buy Housing Act 1980 led to a massive reduction in local authority dwellings, where in London alone they shrank from 840,000 in 1984 (UWE 2008) to 406,387 in 2014 (UK Gov 2014b) (Hall 2014). During this period the affordability of housing became an increasingly pressing issue. Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 included a requirement for 35–50% of affordable housing in developments of more than ten homes. A confusing and hidden world of financial viability assessments and calculations of Net Present Value have allowed developers to exploit loopholes in legislation. These technicalities of finance have resulted in a reduction in numbers of affordable homes (Wainwright 2015), where even the term affordable has become meaningless as they remain out of financial reach for those on a median income (London Tenants Federation 2011, 4).
1981: The Acquisition of Land Act 1981 regulates the conditions for granting a Compulsory Purchase Order.
2000: The Decent Homes Standard, with its origins in a central government Decent Homes Programme, set out criteria for all social housing to be of a decent standard within ten years (Communities and Local Government Committee 2010; UK Gov 2000). Implementation of the DHS appeared to reduce the number of non-decent socially rented homes from 49% of total UK stock in 2002 to 9-18% in 2014 (UK Gov 2014a). Furthermore, although a £821 million investment between 2011 and 2015 improved the condition of around 52,000 London homes, the UK Government was still aware that roughly 10% of social housing in eleven London boroughs would not meet the DHS (Hall 2014).
2001: Lambeth obtain a licence for Ezytreev software. As of 2018, Lambeth has only mapped 48,000 trees on this database which highlights a data gap.
2001/02: A stock condition survey by ‘Property Techtonics’(Lambeth Borough Council 2010, 3) covered 11% of Lambeth’s stock internally and externally. Findings from this survey were extrapolated to Lambeth’s entire housing stock and were employed to identify a sustained lack of capital investment. Property Tectonic introduced a bespoke database called Lifespan which recorded survey data and was structured to address requirements of Decent Homes Standard legislation.
2004: SX3 (Latterly called Northgate) purchased in perpetuity for £3,774,138 (2015, 3).
“Residents give me grief. They don’t understand. I can’t do anything”
2005: Northgate Information Solutions acquires SX3 (Wikipedia 2016).
2006: Lambeth holds data on residential housing stock within HICS and SX3 databases while they hold data on all operational and non-operational stock (including schools) within the Corporate Property Information Management System (PIMS) (Lambeth Borough Council 2006).
2006: Lambeth effectively had two systems in place for 2006/07. Between April 2006 and October 2006 voids were recorded using the HICS database with documentation such as tenancy agreements to support the void start and end dates scanned into Anite@work system (2007, 8).
2007: Lambeth Council introduced a variety of new processes in conjunction with SX3 and began to store supporting documentation on paper files kept in the ‘three area’ office (2007, 8).
2007: Lambeth’ s bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government for Decent Homes funding.
2007/08: Lambeth submitted calculations to the Department of Communities and Local Government which indicated a funding requirement of £251M to achieve 0% non-decency. The level of non-decency was estimated at 44% after the stock condition survey work in 2008. Since then investment has not reached a level to counter the aging process of the stock and at 01.04.11 non-decency was estimated to be 54% (2010).
2008: Lambeth Council commissioned Hunters to undertake a stock condition survey of approximately 20% of the homes to complement the existing data held on LifeSpan. While Lifespan contained a massive amount of detailed information, it still lacked detailed internal information, especially related to street properties. Therefore after a competitive tendering exercise a surveying firm, Hunters, was appointed to undertake the survey. Some 6,000 properties were surveyed from a total of 27,246 properties, making a percentage of stock surveyed 22%. The survey collected information based on the four criteria for Decent Homes and SAP rating (2010).
“If there isn’t a code for the job, you choose a code that’s close enough. Everything eventuality gets coded up”
2008: Lambeth Council create Lambeth Living, an Arms Length Management Organization (ALMO), which launched April 2008. The ALMO was thought to be in a better position to secure funding from central government than a local authority.
2008: Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and for Energy Performance Certificates required for all homes let from October 2008 is incorporated into Lambeth Council data structures.
2009: Renewed license for Anite@work document server at the cost of £105,226 per year. Its name changes to information@work (2008).
2010: A Lambeth report based on 2008 survey data shows that the number of non-decent properties is 49%, compared with 30% as of 31 March 2009. Lambeth delayed publication of the report while work was undertaken to validate data (Lambeth Borough Council 2010).
2010: Lambeth purchase a Dynamic Job Scheduling System, provided by Computacenter (UK) Ltd, called OptiTime to manage responsive repairs (Lambeth Borough Council 2016a).
“We receive a PR-6 then I get out there as quick as possible”
2011: Lambeth begin publishing financial transparency data since 2011 though (as of 2018) is failing to comply fully with the Transparency Code. One key omission is the absence of a list of land and building assets they own as required by s35 and s36 of the Code.
2011: Bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government for Decent Homes funding.
2011: Area housing services are restructured and repairs staff are co-located in the area offices and call centers. The OptiTime system and the deployment of contractor staff in the call center appears to identify and corrected repair failures early on which helps to avoid formal complaints.
2011: An increase of surveyors in each team available for home visits aims to diagnose and complete complex repairs more quickly.
2011: As at 1st April the ALMO managed some 33,000 properties 23,512 tenanted and 9,413 leasehold.
2011: A pilot project of 1000 surveys was undertaken during 2011 for HHSRS. (2012, 10)
“A lot of what we do isn’t about repairs, its about today’s society. We use these these PDA’s, these computers. All the confirmations and the mobile phone calls has made it much more complicated”
2011: The Housing Commission of 2011 recommended the co-production, with residents, of a local housing standard – later known as the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS) (2012).
2011: All key areas of the Lambeth Housing Standard (except external elements) are delivered through the Lambeth Property Contracts, which commenced in April 2011. The restructure of staffing arrangements at the ALMO early in 2011 provided the opportunity for the rationalisation of property, asset management and maintenance functions (2012).
2011: Calculations Team carried out a data cleansing exercise and used the stock dwelling list to clarify the number of properties on estates, and the total rateable values used to calculate repairs and maintenance charges for individual properties. (via private email from finance department)
2012: Policy paper (UK Gov 2012) relating to sections 168 to 175 of the Localism Act 2011 introduced a cap on the amount local authorities could borrow to improve or develop housing stock. Many Local Authorities state that this cap is a core reason why they intend to use Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) to fund urban regeneration schemes. SPVS have received widespread public criticism (Chakrabortty 2017) because of concerns over a lack of democratic accountability, financial management, and relations with private development companies. 2012: An old complaints system “Respond” is replaced by a new module in SX3.
“the database told us Cressingham was expensive to repair”
2012: Oracle E-Business, contract to build a single combined finance system shared with the London Boroughs of Brent, Barking & Dagenham, Croydon, Havering and Lewisham.
2012: Lambeth Council publish a report “local housing standard for Lambeth”, which involved Tenant representatives, Council and ALMO officers who assessed data and who are purported to have ‘co-produced’ (residents highly contested this) the Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS) which will require £499m of investment over the five years 2012/13 to 2016/17 (2012a).
2012: Council decision (March 2012) to invest £350m along with £100.5m of Decent Homes backlog funding to achieve delivery of the Lambeth Housing Standard, though this leaves a funding shortfall of £56m (2012a, 16).
2012: Lambeth purchase new software modules to enhance the existing Northgate Housing system which is used by the ALMO, United Residents Housing (URH), Tenant Management Organizations (TMOs), Housing Regeneration and Environment (HRE), Revenues and Benefits (RB), and Legal Services (LS). (2012b).
*“A democratic, Co-operative Council would have allowed the balloting of residents. This is not a democratic Council. This is not a Co-operative Council. This is a Council interested in making money. It needs to stop saying one thing and not doing another. This plan will only address the issue that you want to address: to make money. I am crying inside for my children. I am very worried about the future of my children.*
2012: Decision to award a contract for a new Asset Management Database (AMDB) called Keystone which integrates with Northgate and aids the delivery of the Capital Programme and captures key stock condition information. The contract is for the database system and support services for a term of 10 years at a total cost of £295,678.3 (2012b).
2013: “The icasework system was introduced to manage members enquiries. Though Lambeth Councillors have been found to submit enquiries in a variety of ways, and the means via which they are recorded varies across council departments. Some are recorded on a case management database, some on a specialised Housing Management database, and many are dealt with informally by officers without a formal case record being created”.
2014: Lambeth Council recognises failure of the ALMO and moves control of its housing back in-house (Cobb 2014).
2014: Development of a building cost model used to plan future investment in housing (Lambeth Borough Council 2016b).
2014: In an assessment of affordable housing the Asset Management Cabinet Advisory Panel (AMCAP) discuss “disposal of council housing that was considered uneconomic to maintain” (2011, 50).
2015: Lambeth create a new estate regeneration website (http://estateregeneration.lambeth.gov.uk) using ‘Nationbuilder’ a content management system that aims to “help people to organize others, particularly through political campaigns”. Previously information relating to regeneration of Lambeth Council had been sporadically maintained on a free WordPress blogging site and before that on Lambeth’s main website.
“when I explained our concern of 16 social homes out of 158 new builds the worker looked visibly perplexed and insisted THERE COULD BE NO FIGURES OF ANY ACCURACY PRIOR TO DESIGN. I explained we got the figures from Lambeth”
2015: New contract for support and maintenance of the Northgate housing system for five years will cost £808,878.42 in total, or £161,775.68 per annum(2015).
2015: “To deliver the Lambeth Housing Standard a funding gap of £148m has been identified. Data held on capital works expenditure matched against the AMDB used to show decency levels of homes” .
2015/16: “The Keystone AMDB replaces LifeSpan as the primary AMDB system and includes an Asbestos register. Lifespan, did not have the capacity to measure progress on meeting the new Lambeth Housing Standard. It was not integrated into SX3/Nortgate and therefore could not be automatically updated when responsive repairs and planned works were completed” (Lambeth Borough Council 2012b)
2016: The 2016 Housing and Planning Act (UK Gov 2016) introduced numerous changes to housing and planning law. Including an extension of the Right to Buy to housing associations, proposals to abolish secure lifetime tenancies, and the forced sale of higher value vacant local authority homes. The 2016 act was widely criticised amongst housing professionals as they believe it would result in the further loss of 7,000 council homes per year (Lunt 2016; Chartered Institute of Housing 2016).
2017: ‘Fixing our broken housing market’ white paper (UK Gov 2017) acknowledges a crisis in UK housing that is increasingly unaffordable. Though to is hard to see how these issues of affordability are truly being addressed through legislation.
2017: Lambeth are still formulating the full extent of systems and processes required to deliver their regeneration programme (London Borough of Lambeth 2017)
2017: Service charge module incorporated into Northgate to create an invoice based accounting system.
Lambeth Intranet, PCounter, SCCM, VMWare vSphere, Xen Server, Active Directory, Business Objects XI.i (Northgate Housing Universe), C-Series, Election System (Xpress), Email (don’t use on Structure Diagram - use Services CIs), Exchange 2010, Framework, Framework Admin Tool, ImerjaMail, LANDesk, Microsoft .NET Framework, Networker, Northgate Housing, Oneserve, Parking Kiosk, PassMe, SCCM 2012, SharePoint, Telephony - Call Pilot, Telephony - CCM6, Telephony - TM3 (Phone Management), Uniform, Academy, Anite Public Access, CASPAR, Contender, DRS, Framework - Business Objects, Framework - Business Objects (InfoView & Web Intelligence), ICPS Suite, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle RMAN Backup Repository, Public Access -Planning, Query Builder, Visual Files, Zengrab, AIM (Axis Income Management), Cyborg HR, Northgate HAF, Northgate Self Serve Housing Application Form, Oracle Applications Express, Talis, Talis Income Manager, Gandlake, GCSx Outlook Web Access, Genero Desktop Client, Oracle - E-Business, Oracle - HR, Oracle Applications: Accounts Payable, Oracle Applications: Accounts Receivable, Oracle Applications: Cash Management, Oracle Applications: General Ledger, Oracle Applications: PO / iProcurement, PuTTY, Trend Micro Enterprise Protection (Anti Virus), AddressMatch, Address-Point, ADManager Plus, Alto Web Services, ArcGIS (Web GI software), ArcSDE (Server GI software) (supporting web and desktop GI; spatial data for Symology, Public Access, Artifax Artemis - eBookings, ArtifaxEvent - PDC (Prof Dev Centre), ArtifaxEvent - Registrars, ArtifaxEventOnline (PDC), Asylum Seekers Live, AUTOCAD - Infrastructure Design Suite, AUTOCAD- Building Design Suite, Bacas, Bibliotheca Smart gate Manager, Bibliotheca SmartServe Kiosk , Bibliotheca SmartTunnel Manager, Cashier Kiosks, dataMAP, Directory Equiries - Intranet, Education Management Information Systems, E-forms, Egress, EPIC, Fast Entry, FTPs, Geocortex, Hummingbird, iCasework, iCasework Members Enquiry, IMPULSE, InCase Intelligence, Issue Manager, iStorm, JTB Flex Report, Keystone Asset Management System, LAS Console, Leaving Care, Logotech Fixed Assets Register, London Grid for Learning, Marcomm Newsflash, MatchCode, Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, Modern.Gov, Natwest Bankline, Netloan PC Booking, Oracle Applications: Application Desktop Integrator, Oracle Applications: Discoverer, Oracle Applications: Financial Statement Generator, Oracle Applications: Learning Management, Oracle Applications: Oracle Financial Analyser, Oracle User Productivity Kit (UPK), Paye.net (PAYE Portal) and ACR, PDF Creator (Intranet), Q-Flow, RAFTS, Respond, RSS -, SAS, School Data Loader, Sky, SMART for dataMAP, SPOCC, SPOCCnet, Strand (Electoral Register), Symology Insight, Synergy, Talis Assure (offline module), Talis Bridge, Talis -Prism 2, Talis Prism 3, Total Land Charges, Verifone (Chip ‘n’ pin), Websense filtering system (Libraries), Youth Offender Information System, ArcMap, Aspireview, AutoCad Vehicle Tracking, Bibliotheca RF4 returns kiosk, Bibliotheca Tag Apply & Smartwedge, Cute PDF Converter, Deepfreeze, Electoral Register Lookup, Food Surveilance System, GIFTS, GPCC (Locks down machine group policies), JCAD Audit Tracker, JCAD Lachs Insurance, JCAD Risk Web 3.1, KeyAccident, Keyline, Keysign, Landmark (standalone systems), Landmark (web system), Launcher (launches LLIAS products), Locker (additional password access to PCs for local administrators), LTA Toolkit, MasterTrader, MultiVue, Oracle I Supplier Portal, RSU - school reporting online, Sage ACT!, SENATE, SNAP - survey forms, Tableau, Talis Decisions, Talis Soprano, TEDDS_12, Trucrypt, Webspy (internet monitoring), 1APP, Acrobat 8 Pro, Additional datasets, Adobe Acrobat Distiller, Airwatch Mobile Data Management, Claro Read Pro, ClaroView, ControlPoint, D.cal, Dolphin Supernova / Lunar + (Special needs software – includes screen reader), Dragon, E-Casework, epass, Ezytreev, Financial Investigation Toolkit, Firefox, Fireworks, Fisher Family Trust, Fitbug Bug Manager, Flash, Flash Player, Framework (Report Repository), Google Chrome (PC), Google Earth, Home to school Transport Database, Hotspot Dectective, iChIS, ID Pro, IDOX - Public Access, Illustrator, InControl Intelligence, InSearch Intelligence, Inspiration, Keypass, Lambeth Contracts Register, Learning Pool Authoring Tool Vers 188.8.131.52, LifeSPAN IS, LLIAS (booking, client and kiosk), Lumension Port Security, MAC OSX 10.5.1 - Leopard, MapInfo, Metacompliiance, Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Excel Converter, Microsoft Office 8 for MAC, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Project 2013, Microsoft Visio 2013, Microsoft Word, Mindjet, Mobile phone software i.e Nokia PS suite, Mozilla Firefox (PC), ODEX, Olympus Administrators Tool, Olympus Dictation Tool, Olympus Sonority, Omnidata, Parallels Desktop for MAC (Virtual PC), PC Memo Scriber 4 (Dictaphone), PDF-Xchange 3, Pensions, Photoshop elements, Planning Perfomance Reports, Plantime, Pupil achievement Tracker, QuarkXpress v7 (MAC), Quickbooks, QuickTag, Quicktime Player, Read and Write Gold, Reading Assistant v4.1 (Rapid Programme), S106, Safari 4.0 (530.17), School governor database, Schools Data Loader, SharePoint Online, SIMS (Schools Information Management System, Smart Board software, Spark Space, SPRUNT(Firewall access only), SPSS, TEAM Energy Accounting, Technology Forge Facility, Telephony - e-Operator, Telephony - NICE (Voice Analytics), Telephony - NICE (Voice Recording), Telephony - NU Technology, TOAD, TRAVL, TVCO, Tweetdeck, Uniform Enterprise, Universal Management Information System, Video Anywhere (Trigman Security), VRR, Windows Movie Maker, Winscribe, WinZip 8.1, Zoomtext
Hanley, Lynsey. 2012. Estates: An Intimate History. Granta: Granta Books.
Living Lambeth. 2012. “Lambeth Living Asset Management Strategy 2012-2017.” V24. Lambeth Living, Arms Length Managment Organisation.
Orlans, Harold. 2013. Stevenage: A Sociological Study of a New Town. Routledge.
Paris, Chris. 2013. Critical Readings in Planning Theory: Urban and Regional Planning Series. Elsevier.