Tag Archives: regeneration

Council homes and affordable cinema for all – our plan for Southwark

Southwark council are conducting a ‘public consultation’ on their New Southwark Plan, a draft plan of future developments in the borough. This public consultation closes on Friday 28th April. Southwark council’s plans for our borough look pretty huge and it’s hard to get your head around, especially with the fast approaching deadline, and if like many people in the borough lots of your time is spent trying to house yourself, support others and generally just survive. Despite the ‘public consultation’, it’s likely that you haven’t had your ideas concerning your neighborhood and borough listened to.

The threat to the PeckhamPlex cinema, one of the few affordable cinemas left in London, has caught the local headlines. There’s a template letter here calling for the current plans for the PeckhamPlex to be put on hold. And other community and public spaces are under threat too –such as the Peckham Arch in front of Peckham library (petition to save it here) and grassy plots in Peckham.

After Southwark’s terrible reputation for destroying council housing and doing terrible deals with developers (just look at the Heygate estate and the Aylesbury estate), the council are promising lots of new homes as part of the Southwark Plan. But their mantra of ‘homes, homes, homes’ is deceptive. Southwark desperately needs council homes, particularly for those with high housing need on the housing register, not ‘affordable’ homes or private rented homes. And homes should not come at the cost of community spaces.

Think that ‘regeneration’ shouldn’t look like this? Struggling or don’t want to fill in their in inaccessible and confusing consultation? Concerned about rent rises, poor housing and gentrification we’re already experiencing in our communities? Don’t worry, together we can make sure that there are plenty more ways to highlight and assert the needs of our communities and neighborhoods – council housing, community spaces, and affordable cinema for all!

The New Southwark Plan consultation can be viewed and responded to online here. Although it looks like it’s only available in English – so many of Southwark’s residents who do not have English as a first language, or literacy, or internet access are already excluded. Whether you fill it out or not, get involved in HASL to organise collective action on housing and poverty issues in our communities.

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Myatts field day of action – 25th July

Graffiti on the Myatts Field North redevelopment

Graffiti on the Myatts Field North redevelopment

Next Friday (25th July) at 10am at a location to be confirmed tenants will be taking action against the redevelopment of the Myatts Field North estate in Brixton which is being done through a Public Finance Initiative (PFI). A PFI is where a company has fronted the money and Lambeth will pay it back for years at rip off rates. Residents are already seeing:

  • Higher rents
  • Energy monopoly (EON will control the residents energy prices for the next 45 years)
  • Lease holders are being evicted and given poor compensation for their home
  • Green space has been lost
  • Residents have had no say in any of this so far

Myatts Field Residents say:

“We welcome housing groups , tenants from other estates and trade unions to join us at 10am on Friday 25th July (location to be confirmed!).
Wednesday 23rd July we will also be holding a residents meeting in the Bramah Green Community Centre at 7pm , members of the public are welcome to join in.

Please let us know if you are interested in coming to any of the above so we have an idea of the numbers .

The tremendous vote against privatisation on the neighbouring Cowley estate and the angry mood of residents living on the PFI redevelopment shows there is a momentum building in favour of council housing for all, and against the councils complicity with the private sector.”

Guinness Trust residents protest against evictions

 

Guinness Partnership - No evictions!

Guinness Partnership – No evictions!

Some photos of billowing banners and a sunny protest here

On Friday, Guinness Trust shorthold tenants held a loud and lively protest on the estate against evictions and demanding local, social housing. Assured Shorthold Tenants (ASTs) are threatened with eviction and homelessness as part of the estate’s ‘regeneration’. More information here including a tweet button to let ‘social’ landlords Guinness Partnership know what you think of their social cleansing plans.

Over thirty people joined the protest which saw the Guinness Partnership close their office on the estate for the afternoon. The residents’ campaign is supported by Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth and Lambeth Housing Activists. A number of secure tenants joined the protest and a group from the House Of Brag queer social centre in the old Joy shop, who have been making links with local Brixton struggles, came down to support. People played drums, chanted, and spoke with residents and passersby about what was happening to the ASTs.

There was a huge amount of support from the people we spoke with, especially other residents on the estate. On hearing that the Guinness Partnership were making his neighbours homelessness one man said: “it’s wrong, it’s wrong”. Another woman who lived on the estate expressed her anger at the Guinness Partnership’s actions and remarked how this was part of the wider gentrification of Brixton. Talking about all the new shops that have been springing up she asked, “who needs soda bread and ham that’s been cured for 28 days?”

Keep your eyes on this blog, facebook and twitter for more actions as part of the campaign calling on the Guinness Partnership to stop the evictions and provide ASTs with local, social housing. Get in touch with us if you’d like to get involved: haslemail@gmail.com

Focus E15 mums' March for Decent Housing. Photo credit: Peter Marshall, Demotix

Focus E15 mums’ March for Decent Housing. Photo credit: Peter Marshall, Demotix

Then, on Saturday we joined the Focus E15 mums’ campaign and people from other housing groups across London for the ‘March for Decent Housing’ through Newham. Like the ASTs on the Guinness Trust estate, Focus E15 mums are demanding local, social housing after Newham council tried to move the mums out of London into private accommodation in Manchester and Hastings. The campaign saw them win a partial victory as they have been housed in their home borough of Newham, however, the Focus E15 mums are calling for local, secure and affordable social housing for their families and for everyone.

 

Struggling with a housing issue? Angry at high rents, poor housing, and evictions in your communities? Come along to our next meeting, Thursday 10th July, 12pm, Papa’s cafe meeting room, 2-10 Pulross Road, SW9 8AF.