At Lewisham Homes, our vision is to create thriving communities and places people are proud to call home. Residents’ safety is our top priority, which is why understanding and neutralising fire risk is at the heart of everything we do.
We acted quickly following the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. Government safety tests were carried out on high-rise blocks across the country and our blocks at Gerrard House and Hatfield Close were found to have dangerous cladding. We immediately introduced a 24-hour fire patrol service in the buildings and engaged contractors United Living to carry out safety works and remove the cladding as a matter of urgency. The final panel was removed in autumn 2017, and the process began on installing a safe alternative, with cladding being re-applied from February 2020. More information on our fire safety work can be found here or in the video below.
Consultation and engagement
We have been working in partnership with United Living and the Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations (TRAs) to make sure that everyone living at Hatfield and Gerrard has meaningful opportunities to be included in the process. After a series of meetings with residents, we arrived at a choice of three designs for the new terracotta cladding, with the preferred option finally chosen by vote. Details of this process can be found here.
Lewisham Homes has offered financial assistance to those faced with higher energy bills while the blocks are unclad, with the most recent of these goodwill payments being made in autumn 2019. We have also been engaging with residents though a vibrant programme of events and initiatives. Our Community Relations team has helped renovate a community garden on the site, worked to refurbish and reopen the Winslade Cyber Centre nearby and will be opening a Skills Centre on the site in the coming months.
United Living have also been keeping residents up to date with a dedicated newsletter with latest updates from the works. You can download the previous editions below:
We have also launched a series of new measures across the organisation aimed at keeping all our residents safe. The clear corridors policy is designed to make it easier to get around in an emergency, and we continue working on our strategy for safety, repairs and long-term sustainability; plus we have started a complete survey of the condition of the housing we manage in order to identify where we need to make improvements to homes and communal areas. This will enable us to invest and maintain the best possible standards, prioritising our resources based on need.
Residents of Hatfield Close and Gerrard House also benefit from our ongoing social value work, explained on this regularly updated page. We have been building relationships with local schools, colleges and universities to promote apprenticeships and graduate opportunities, and we offer a range of subsidised courses and qualifications to up-skill our residents and support them into employment. We continue to partner with London Metropolitan University to run our free Improving Housing Services courses for our residents, which are funded by Lewisham Tenants’ Fund and accredited by the Chartered Institute for Housing – they offer an opportunity for residents to learn more about housing, get involved in shaping our services, and challenge and improve our work.
Progress of works
The works are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Further information on when they will restart will be provided in due course. A new completion date will be announced when the works restart.
Below is a video of the works progressing. This video will be updated periodically.