College Bank and Lower Falinge: Latest Updates

Thank you to everyone who came along to our workshops on Saturday 24th June.

You can now download the information boards from our June workshops.

More information

Frequently asked questions: College Bank and Lower Falinge: FAQ.

If you'd like to comment further, you can:

Building a successful and sustainable future for College Bank and Lower Falinge

We're working with local residents in College Bank and Lower Falinge to discuss how we improve their neighbourhoods for the future.

We have said to the government that College Bank and Lower Falinge need extra investment and we would like this to be made available for these areas. In line with our mutual values, we will work up  any plans together with our members and with the local community.

 

What are the reasons for looking at options and asking the government for investment?

Although lots of people love living in Lower Falinge and College Bank, overall there are lower levels of satisfaction with our homes there than other RBH homes. This means that not enough people want to move into and stay living in College Bank and Lower Falinge, especially following recent welfare reform changes. Currently our homes in these areas cost us more to maintain than they generate in rent.

In addition, the design of both College Bank and Lower Falinge mean they are physically cut off from the town centre and surrounding areas, and the area has suffered from negative, damaging and unfair headlines in the media.

 

What options are we looking at?

  • We're looking at what continuing to manage College Bank and Lower Falinge as they are would mean for existing and future residents
  • We're looking at options involving some level of demolition of existing homes, and what type of homes or facilities could then replace these – and what this would mean for existing and future residents
  • We're looking at what options there are for extra investment to improve the existing homes – to make them better for people living in them now and people who will be living in them in future

We’re looking at how we can support existing and future residents to have better health and better life opportunities, and how each of the options for physical change could help with these.

In January 2017, we commissioned a nationally renowned architectural practice, Levitt Bernstein, to work with the community and partners over the three months to March 2017 to identify and assess what the best options may be.

What does this mean for residents while we decide which options to take?

Local residents know their area best and we'll be asking them for their views on their homes and the wider neighbourhood.  We have started this with some drop in sessions and will ensure opportunities to comment online and face to face.  We'll continue with current investment work, but we won't be making any more "major investment" until we have reviewed our options.

We will keep all existing residents updated as any options develop so they will know if their home could be affected by proposals long before any final decision is made.  If there is a recommendation for any demolition then we have a clear policy for supporting any tenants affected by demolition, including face to face help, priority rehousing and financial support.

 

How will we make a decision?

We will review the options with the local community, looking at what money is available compared with the costs – including asking the Government for resources and looking at whether private sector investment can help. We will look at what each option can deliver against two tests – will they improve the quality of homes and will they improve the life chances of residents?

 

How will we know if we have done the right thing?

If we choose an option which involves change this can take a long time but we will continue to test what we are doing by asking:

  • Do the people who live in Lower Falinge and College Bank now have a better quality home and better quality of life than they did in 2016?
  • Do the people who move in to the neighbourhoods in future have a better quality home and better quality of life than they did before they moved in?