The movement against the demolition of London estates took important steps forward last week.
Over 100 people joined a meeting in Haringey, north London, against the redevelopment of seven estates in the Labour-run borough. It was an angry meeting—and for good reason.
One speaker told the meeting, “Plans to demolish the Broadwater Farm estate in Tottenham began after the riots in 2011. This isn’t just about changing the houses, it’s about changing the people.”
At previous meetings council officers claimed that people won’t be forced out. But local residents, tenants and activists are fighting the threat of thousands of people losing their homes.
In February the council voted to enter into a 50-50 partnership with property developer Lendlease.
The firm was sued by New York City for some £43 million after a long term scam in which they overcharged the city and other firms by tens of millions of dollars.
One person told the meeting last week, “If Lendlease can screw New York City, they’re going to roll over Haringey like a bulldozer.”
And a recent submission to a local government watchdog shows that developers of 46 sites across London have dropped commitments to provide “affordable housing”. Developers’ financial and legal clout often far outweighs that of councils.