The Clapham Park Project was established in 2000 as an Area Based Initiative delivery vehicle for a New Deal for Communities (N.D.C) Programme in Clapham Park. The neighbourhood was one of Lambeth’s most disadvantaged areas, it had been long neglected with sub-standard housing, significant levels of deprivation, worklessness, poverty and crime. The N.D.C programme was funded by central government over a 10 year period ending in March 2011, from the beginning community involvement was at the heart of the programme.
Half of the resources allocated to Clapham Park’s NDC programme was given over to the creation of a community led Housing Association, Clapham Park Homes (CPH).
Following a ballot in 2005 all the social housing in Clapham Park, almost 2000 homes was transferred to CPH who would be responsible for the re-development of the Clapham Park estates to ensure that in future all residents could be able to live in decent homes. The transfer occurred in 2006 and the physical re-development began in 2007. This housing led regeneration programme is currently one of the largest in South London and its work continues today. The plan is to refurbish half the transferred stock and to demolish the remainder, replacing it with newly built flats and houses. This plan will see an additional 1,500 homes built, most will be for outright sale. When complete the estate will be transformed with a greater diversity of tenures and new retail units and community facilities. CPH is a subsidiary of Metropolitan Housing Trust.
C.P.P used the remainder of its grant to run projects and services which aimed to tackle the issues previously mentioned. In this way C.P.P has transformed the neighbourhood into a safe place to live with a genuine sense of community. The Clapham Park area is no longer one of Lambeth’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, however, it still faces considerable challenges but conditions have improved since the inception of C.P.P in 2000.
From the beginning local residents have overseen and led the governance of the regeneration programme. They have committed their spare time and a great deal of effort to achieving success and they have resolved that they would not let the area slip back into decline once the NDC programme come to an end.
Consequently, and following considerable local consultation, C.P.P’s Board members agreed to apply for charitable status. They were determined to continue to deliver projects and services which would benefit local people and were keen to share their learning and experience by reaching out to and working with similar groups in other areas of Lambeth, particularly those that operate in the most disadvantaged parts of the borough.