2 March 2019
Dear Lord Kerslake
SALE OF HOMES
I am writing to express my Residents’ Association’s continuing concerns about Peabody’s approach to selling off the homes it bought from The Crown Estate. The failure of any of the three from our Victoria Park estate that were put up for auction to reach their reserve prices strikes us as an ideal opportunity to review what is clearly an ineffective and disruptive way of raising capital. Much of what we wish to say is in existing correspondence, starting with the letter from Madeleine Davis and myself to Brendan Sarsfield of 5 December. Following a reminder e-mail to yourself from Nik Wood on 28 January Richard Ellis’ e-mail to him of 29 January sets out your then position. Since then we have added further comments by way of e-mails to you of 18 and 22 February. The greatest of the assets you bought from The Crown was the stable community of tenants, holding long term tenancies, as the notably low level of arrears here will attest. To replace that with buy-to-let lease- and free- holders letting at the extortionate rents and on the exploitative tenancy terms typical of the unfettered commercial market is to undermine all the socially positive objectives Peabody has been professing in the media of late. The case for raising this capital this way is weakened even more by the extent of saleable accommodation incorporated in all Peabody’s new build projects, such as is conceded about The Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital in Richard Ellis’ e-mail. The defence for Peabody building “help to buy” homes is that they finance the associated social housing build. The case for picking the homes you have strikes us as specious. The claim that these homes are unsuitable for renting doesn’t stop you from renting our identical ones and raising the rents on them yearly. And in the case of 17 Robinson Road it was converted into its current state by Peabody. We would like to hear from you that Peabody will put its whole sales programme on hold and will commit to making no further sales until accredited tenant representatives have agreed new guidelines.
Chair Victoria Park Community Association
Joannie A Andrews