Social Housing/ private renters/ squatters/ homeless

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Your description sounds pretty bad - and along similar lines to what they are trying to do at Cressingham Gardens.

    The Fenwick newsletter is not terribly readable (it might help if it could be downloade as a pdf) and does not seem to have any pictures of possible future options - simply repeating ad nauseam that the council are consulting consulting consulting..
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  2. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Pictures of "possible future options" are hostages to fortune, as far as Lambeth is concerned. It was amusing to see the stuff the companies tendering for the masterplanning contract for Cressingham came up with. Loads of airy-fairy bullshit that looked beautiful when rendered on a page, but would have been utterly implausible when trying to fit in as many properties as Lambeth require, unless you build upward.
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  3. Walker

    Walker New Member

    300 affordable homes by 2018!? Where? Then, I suppose it looks good in Council's books - '300 new homes'. As long as nobody hears about thousands of dislocated people as a result of that.

    I agree. The decision seems to have been made a while ago. This is only a process to follow to make it legal. Otherwise, it would have been true regeneration, rather than demolition.

    One of the more bizarre claims Lambeth is making (in favour of demolition) is that some properties are in a poor state of neglect. One may think, that Lambeth is going to demolish all the houses every 30-40 years, when it fails to maintain them.

    I have lost a lot of sleep over this and there is more to come. My stomach turns thinking of the next twelve months. I am puzzled and confused that this sort of thing is allowed, legal and commended in this country today.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
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  4. Walker

    Walker New Member

    Maybe it is not supposed to be legible. I am sure there is a Brownie point for 'putting the newsletter online to make it accessible to general public'. It is one of those actions that ticks off the boxes en route to CPO.
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  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    I asked Matthew Bennett that very question. His answer was to find something else important that needed to be done. :)

    That's a point we (Save Cressingham Gardens) have been making for over 2 years now - that demolition, even allowing for relocating tenants onto the new estates, destroys community cohesion. Yes, some of the same people will still live in the same locale, but that doesn't mean that what I'd term "neighbourliness" (people doing stuff for neighbours) will automatically be present.
    Speaking of "dislocation", are you aware that tenants who want to move off of regen estates, are being prioritised for re-housing, over and above people who may have been on the waiting list for years? Apparently emptying homes on regen estates is another route by which Lambeth will claim to have some sort of mandate for demolition - "well, half the places were empty, anyway!". :facepalm:

    As a reasonably long-term Cressingham resident (20 years), I've often given a timeline to people asking about neglect, which I believe signifies the changing attitudes to maintenance of the council:

    The first 5 years I was here, the council cleared our gutters 3-4 times a year.
    The next 5 years, 1-2 times a year.
    The 5 years after that,once a year.
    The last 5 years, they haven't bothered. The only time any guttering gets cleared is when a stretch is blocked, and then it's just that run that gets dealt with.

    I stopped losing sleep about it a while back. Now I just get angry, then channel the anger. We've come up with a broad variety of approaches to fighting estate regen, from legal action, to our "People's Plan" for Cressingham, to holding a light to Bennett and his fellow Progress stooges. As a Lambeth councillor who's unsympathetic to Bennett's style of regen told me, "the way to get to him and his mates is to embarrass them. Make people realise that he's not in it to help people in Lambeth, but to help himself" (on which theme, "Town Hall" gossip has Bennett as Chairman of the council's "Homes for Lambeth" Special Purpose Vehicle, if/when it comes on line).
  6. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

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  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member


    Next Sunday 13th March is the National Demo against the Housing Bill.
    12 noon Lincolns Inn Fields, marching to Parliament

    This will be the last opportunity before the bill is voted on in the lords to show the strength of feeling against it. Can you help us get the word out this week and get as many people there as possible?

    you can download or forward the leaflet electronically on this link
    or share the facebook event -
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  8. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    More info here:


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  9. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

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  10. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Some photos of todays march. Several south London groups there.

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  11. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    This south London group deserve a special mention.

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  12. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

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  13. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Some more pillows.

  14. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Good article here from Economist ( from ASH FB page)

    It saying something when mainstream news magazine uses language like this:

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  15. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

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  16. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    Posted some of my thoughts on this thread. Just a fucking disgrace whats going on all over London :mad: :(
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  17. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    From the article:

    "Loretta Lees of the University of Leicester says that council tenants are often presented with a “false choice” between a regeneration they do not want and the further deterioration of their housing. She believes many of the estates are structurally sound and could be refurbished. Tenants’ representatives accuse the Labour Party of not standing up for working-class people. On March 24th, Labour’s housing guru, Andrew Adonis, published a report for IPPR, a think-tank, praising this model for regenerating estates, calling them potential “city villages”. Professor Lees calls the report “another gentrifier’s charter”. Once again, Woodberry Down could be the estate of the future."
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  18. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Good posts on that thread.

    I was at meeting last night about Balfron Tower. Designed by architect Goldfinger and now listed by English Heritage. The meeting was mainly architects. A discussion on whether the planned refurbishment damaged the aesthetic qualities of the building or not. Also if English Heritage were up to there job allowing any changes to the building.

    All very interesting. As the only non professional there I mentioned the fact that it was built as social housing and now its going to be refurbished as private housing. Something that has caused controversy. It was transferred to a Housing Association by the Council and they decided to change it to private housing.

    A rather heated discussion ensued. At end of meeting a bemused architect asked me why I thought Balfron should stay as Council housing. Obviously regarded me as mad lefty or just could not understand why I should get angry about it. Why aesthetics should not imo be divorced from the original intent of the building. ( an interesting debate to be had on the subject I think).

    The arguments used were those of Adonis. Which has now seeped into processional housing circles as a self evident truth. That "mixed communities" are good. I agree with Loretta Lees that its gentrification.

    My venture into "polite society" was an interesting experience. Some of the older architects agreed with me - they had worked for Councils when Councils had architect sections. But I did feel like a fish out of water.

    It so happened I was at Balfron Tower this week moving stuff. It is amazing building. And not as brutalist as one might think. Flats all have balconies and are light. Sad to see it now turned into yet another preserve of the rich.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  19. Walker

    Walker New Member

  20. Walker

    Walker New Member

  21. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

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  22. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    CH1 link worked for me.

    Interesting article.

    Worth reading the comments below.

    So now Lambeths is saying its the Tories fault.

    Cressingham won in court as the "consultation" left out several options previously put forward. The lesson learned by Lambeth is to make sure that they limit options from the outset.

    I can see Camerons point. After all this didnt start with the Tories. New Labour was hostile to Council Housing. Adonis and his ilk regarded mass Council housing as a failure. To be replaced with so called "mixed communities."

    The post war idea of mass housing was supported by the "centre ground" for many years. With Tory and Labour governments vying with each other over who built the most. Thatcher was the turning point.

    Kate Macintosh puts it well in her comment at end of the AJ article:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
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  23. Walker

    Walker New Member

    I have the article. I can try to send it as a message.
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  24. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

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  25. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Lambeth are Tweeting a statement by Neil Vokes (which has been there since January 26th) as todays' info offering:

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  26. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    That graphic both makes me laugh, and annoys me immensely. it show that council tenants will be deprived of 3 of their main rights, and yet purports to show the council matching the new assured "lifetime" tenancies and existing secure tenancies "as closely as possible".

    As for the bollocks about how you can retain your secure tenancy by moving elsewhere, that too is bollocks, because unless the council do what they did in January - the first time that piece of shit was touted - and make those who want to move off of regen estates a temporary top priority category, then people will be stuck waiting to move off.

    And that "High quality" claim is rubbish, unless Lambeth are planning to spend well over and above normal unit cost, and actually not put people into the new homes until all the snagging is done.
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  27. stethoscope

    stethoscope Well-Known Member

    I meant to reply to this before now but it slipped my mind. Balfron is a place pretty close to my heart over the years. Friends and acquaintances have lived there, and er, occasionally set up radio station aerials too :hmm:

    Amongst what seems like endless stories all over London (and beyond) right now, more and more social and HA housing being lost to private. And yes, it is gentrification, and yes it's also social cleansing.

    In case anyone doesn't know about the Balfron situation: How Balfron Tower tenants lost their homes
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  28. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    Would anyone care to comment on the "Right to Acquire" form (to be served on your Housing Association landlord) found on this here link:

    Section F is particularly fascinating - suggesting that it is quite normal to be a serial "Right to Buy" customer!

    It asks questions like:
    Please give the following details of all tenants who live in the property.
    Is the property the tenant’s only or principal home (Y/N)?
    Does he or she wish to buy (Y/N)?

    If you wish to share the Right to Acquire with any member of your family who is not a tenant, give their details below.
    Gross annual income – this includes state benefits, except Housing Benefit and Council tax benefit. It does not include income from investments. Please round up or down to the nearest pound.
    Net annual income of purchaser(s) - This includes all income except Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and income from investments. Please round up or down to the nearest pound.
    Monthly earnings
    (after deductions such as tax, national insurance etc. – includes working tax credit but not the child care element)
    Weekly Child Tax Credit
    (this does not include Child Benefit)
    Weekly Occupational/Stakeholder Pension (including SERPs)
    Weekly State Benefits
    (this does not include Child Benefit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit)
    Other Weekly Income
    (this does not include income from investments)
    Total savings of purchaser(s)
    before any deposit is paid(please round to nearest £10)
    Part E: Qualification
    To qualify for the Right to Acquire, you need to have been a public sector tenant for at least three years (please see note below). However, you do not need to have been living in your current home for three years; previous public sector tenancies, including those with a branch of the armed forces, can also count towards the qualifying period.
    Part F: Previous discount
    Please give details below of any previous property purchase at a discount from a public sector landlord which you (or your spouse/partner) have undertaken.
    Property Address
    Landlord Name
    Purchaser Name
    Date of Purchase
    Amount of discount received

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  29. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The Dan Cruickshank progamme about flats - whilst not being Brixton deals in depth with 2 design types used in Brixton.
    The Lincoln estate in Poplar is quite similar to the New Loughborough. The original tower blocks on St Matthews Estate are exactly the same as Ronan Point - which had to be demolished after a gas explosion in 1968 where 7 people died and 70 were injured (film & technical discussion about this)

    Another Lambeth link - views & discussion of The Red House (formerly belonging to William Morris). This was lived in by Ted Hollamby - LCC senior architect in the 1950s before working for Hammersmith, then Lambeth - where he was responsible for Cressingham Gardens amongst others.

    Apparently Hollamby was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britian, but resigned following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

    The Flat, Dan Cruickshank: At Home with the British - BBC Four
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  30. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    On the other side of the fence - last Wednesday's property section in the Standard was a particularly bold or even triumphalist statement of social cleansing:

    "The US Embassy is leading the stampede south of the river where thousands of homes are part of the transformation.... "

    Funnily enough the internet version of this article is rather toned down as you might read on the link.

    This article only contains one small reference to "Affordable Homes" (Affinity Sutton has 29 shared ownership flats at Nine Elms Point - prices start at £455,000..... AND Fabrica has 13 shared ownership flats at Keybridge.

    All I can say is that if Joe Stalin was running London (or the country) a lot of these developers would be in a gulag - along with their acolytes in Lambeth and Wandsworth Councils.

    Toned down internet link: One to watch: the Zone 2 district with a 20-year plan for 20,000 new homes

    Original as published last week:
    Vauxhall1.jpg Vauxhall2.jpg
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