OK. As politicians love to say, let’s be clear.
Southwark Council have claimed they intend to build 20 council homes with the proceeds of the recent sale of 21 Park St. Here are some facts regarding Southwark Council and their attitude towards social housing.
- The Heygate Estate was once home to over 1,200 social housing units. 1,100 of those were social housing, 100 were leasehold.. the ‘redeveloped’ Heygate will have a total of 79 new council homes.
- Southwark Council sold the Heygate Estate to property developers Lend Lease for well under the market price at £50m. They then spent £44m evicting and rehousing the tenants. Despite promising former residents that they will be rehoused in the rebuilt estate (it’s been empty for over 2 years now), Southwark backtracked (with pressure from Lend Lease) and now promise only 70 units at “affordable rates.”
- Number One The Elephant, was originally going to contain 35% “affordable” housing. When it’s finished, it will contain 0% council, 0% affordable housing. The developers, when asked for an explanation of the lack of viability of this provision, claimed that tenants in affordable flats would have required a separate entrance so as to keep them apart from those living in the more expensive flats.
- According to a FOI request made to Southwark, the Council has demolished 5656 council-owned homes in the last 20 years in Southwark, including leaseholds bought back.
- Overcrowding in social housing across Southwark ranges from between 6%-25%. 25% of Peckham’s social housing is overcrowded.
Call it complicated. Call us naïve. But this is still social cleansing.