Community Buildings Review
We own a range of buildings across Haringey that are leased to voluntary and community organisations to provide a range of local services and activities – everything from faith meetings and charitable work to weekly pensioners clubs and yoga classes.
There are around 30 community buildings in the borough, and organisations currently rent these from the council in a variety of different ways through a complex array of agreements and rent levels that built up during the last 50 years.
Since 2013, the council has been carrying out a review of these community buildings to make sure that they are being used to provide the maximum benefit they can to local people, ensure that rent and lease agreements are fair to all organisations, and to open buildings up to even more of the fantastic 900 voluntary sector organisations in Haringey.
To put our buildings into context, Haringey has more than 900 voluntary organisations doing fantastic work and improving the lives of the borough’s residents, but only around 30 of those currently enjoy access to a council building for their activities.
The current system of vastly different rent agreements and leases can mean one voluntary group pays little or no rent to the council for access to a building, while many more similar groups pay full market rent or have no access to a building at all.
Buildings are currently leased on the following arrangements:
- Circular Funded Rent (six buildings) – where the council charges an annual rent to an organisation, but then another council department issues a grant to cover that cost, meaning the organisation pays nothing
- Peppercorn lease (six buildings) – where organisations have a long-term lease with the council and pay a token annual rent such as £1 or £10
- Market rent (15 buildings) – where organisations pay a standard commercial rent
This system doesn’t properly recognise the contribution of voluntary groups or make any requirement of groups whose building is subsidised by Haringey taxpayers to clearly demonstrate that they are delivering activities that benefit the community. It also means other organisations in Haringey have little chance to apply to use a building.
The review also aimed to see which buildings were put to good regular use, hosting a range of valuable activities for local people, and which buildings were rarely open or only ran services that were not representative of Haringey’s diverse communities.
If you have any questions about how this review could affect your organisation, please contact us by:
- If you currently lease a community building, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you rent space in a community building from the organisation who manages it, contact your centre manager for information about how this review could affect your activities. If you want to speak to the council, email email@example.com
- If you are interested in renting a community building, please see the commercial properties to let page
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