Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality social housing and supported housing services and products, has published the results of a report carried out by LSE to assess the impact of a £140m regeneration programme at Rayners Lane, a former council owned estate in the London Borough of Harrow.
The report says the estate was previously difficult to manage, run down and unpopular, with high fear of crime. Home Group carried out a major redevelopment of the area delivering houses and apartments, local shops and business space, along with the Beacon – a multifunctional community centre – sports facilities and a new park.
539 homes from the original estate were demolished and replaced with 800 new homes of mixed tenure of which nearly 500 were for rehousing existing residents plus some for outright sale and shared equity.
The LSE says it assessed social return on investment as £10 for every £1 invested in the development. This reflects what Home Group spends in order to run it, compared with the return or pay-back the community and the landlord gain in social benefits.
Residents see the regeneration as having brought positive changes to the estate with 85% saying they think the estate is now better than it was, and they think the community has developed in a positive way. Four in five think the quality of life on the estate is good or excellent, compared with only a quarter in 2003.
The report also says that half of residents think that crime has reduced in the last year, local schools improving, and that there is improved health on the estate.
Brian Ham, Director for Enterprise and Development at Home Group, said: “These results are really positive and a good benchmark for other regeneration projects. Most importantly, residents are now clearly very happy with their homes, think highly of Home Group as a landlord and generally feel much safer and more involved with the community. With innovation and community at its heart, we look forward to seeing more local authorities adopting this social model.”
Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at LSE, said: “Rayners Lane shows that it is possible to rebuild a former council estate with most of the existing tenants in place. By providing local management and community resources, the landlord can help the community flourish. The Rayners Lane model shows how social renting and private housing can fit together into a workable whole.”