Is regeneration definitely going ahead?
We’re currently working on planning applications for the first new homes. We hope to submit planning applications later this year. If Merton Council grants us planning permission we plan to start building new homes in autumn 2016.
How long will regeneration take?
If regeneration goes ahead, the whole project could take up to 12 years to complete. We are currently working on the phasing plan that will show the order in which we will re-build each part of the neighbourhood and how long this would take.
What happens to residents during the regeneration process?
The arrangements will depend on your individual circumstances. Wherever possible we will start building on land that is not currently being used for housing so that residents can move straight from their current home into a new one.
Where that is not possible we will offer residents temporary accommodation in Merton as close as possible to their neighbourhood.
What impact will the proposed merger with Affinity Sutton have on the Merton Regeneration Project?
The coming together of Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing will create a stronger, more efficient organisation with increased financial capacity. This means that we would be in a stronger position to deliver our regeneration project in Merton.
What are the plans for kitchens and bathrooms in our current homes?
Our work on the detailed phasing plans is ongoing. Although the phasing plan will continue to evolve, we are keen to give as much detail and assurance as we can at this point. It is our intention to present this more detailed and nuanced phasing plan at our next round of consultation events, as well as contacting individual residents who may be in need of replacement or upgraded kitchens and bathrooms in the next few months.
Why is the repayment period for the replacement home option 11 years?
The replacement home option is designed to allow existing homeowners to fully own their new and more valuable home at no additional cost to them. If the repayment period was removed or too short there is a high risk some homeowners would sell the new homes soon after they move in. However, the repayment period means the longer homeowners stay, the more benefit they will see when they do eventually choose to sell their home.
How will the valuation of my home take account of the regeneration project?
Valuations are undertaken as if regeneration was not happening. Residents still have the option of appointing their own independent valuer if they disagree with our offer.
Will homeowners have to pay a service charge in the new build?
No decisions have been made on service charges as it is much too early in the regeneration project to determine what charges would be payable. Any future service charges would be dependent upon a number of factors including the number of residents contributing to the costs of maintaining the neighbourhoods or individual blocks; the scale and quality of any green space or communal areas; and the type of new community facilities provided.
I’m a non-resident homeowner. Why am I not eligible for the replacement home option?
It is not possible for us to offer non-resident homeowners the replacement home option. As a charity our primary objective is to help those in housing need.
In this instance we can make the case for resident homeowners to be supported through the regeneration programme because of the impact it will have on them. We cannot make the same case for non-resident homeowners who do not live in our neighbourhoods as they are not losing their principal home because of regeneration.
Circle Housing Merton Priory tenants
I'm considering Right to Buy, is it possible to extend the cut off period beyond 27 May 2015 to allow me to qualify for the replacement home option?
We are not able to extend the cut-off date. Existing Circle Housing Merton Priory tenants living in the three neighbourhoods still have the opportunity to exercise their Right to Buy. They will not qualify for the replacement home option but they will be able to take up the shared equity option.
How long after I move in to my new home can I buy it using Right to Buy?
If you are a Circle Housing Merton Priory tenant and you have Right to Buy now, you will keep this right in your new home.
Will regeneration affect my existing tenancy rights?
You will have exactly the same tenancy rights as you have now and regeneration will not have an impact on the way rent levels are set. Whether regeneration goes ahead or not, your tenancy rights will stay the same.