Join us on Saturday 23 September, from 12 noon, at Tottenham Green (nearest tube Seven Sisters) to support the residents of Haringey.
Haringey Council’s Labour Cabinet has agreed a plan to destroy social housing and to give itself the option to build a new type of segregated housing estate. In new estates lower income tenants may be forced to enter their block behind separate ‘poor’ doors, while richer residents enter the block via a different door and enjoy a better communal environment and services. The Cabinet freely admitted it may be planning this when questioned at its meeting on the third of July this year. So even under the leadership of Corbyn, the Labour Party is pursuing the same old policies of promoting the interests of the wealthy and trying to keep the working class in its place.
Across London and other areas, housing estates are being knocked down to be replaced with new developments built on the demolition sites. The new estates are mainly private with some social housing. The most notorious example is Heygate in Southwark. Once this was knocked down and rebuilt, the 934 council tenanted properties on the estate were replaced by 180 so-called affordable rented properties (at 50% market rent in this case) and only 74 social rented properties.
In Haringey the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) is intended as the vehicle for estate demolition and rebuilding. The HDV is an arrangement whereby the council knocks down council estates and then transfers the land to a joint venture that is supposedly half owned by the council and half owned by the property developer Lendlease. The ‘50/50’ arrangement means that in the event of disagreement Haringey must buy out Lendlease’s stake in the project and wind the whole thing up, something they are hardly likely to be able to do given the huge sums of money involved. Therefore in practice Lendlease will control the HDV with Haringey councillors sitting on its board as Lendlease’s puppets.
Haringey Council has been lying about their plans to demolish their council estates for years. They have announced in statement after statement that 40% of the new housing has to be ‘affordable’, but the small print of the HDV Strategic Business Plan states that this 40% is subject to a ‘viability’ test. The business plan eagerly points out that the cost of estate regeneration can be used as a reason to reduce the amount of affordable housing provided when the viability test is being done. So the 40% figure is rubbish and developers will be able to build much lower percentages of affordable housing using the ‘viability’ con-trick.
The new segregationists, who want to impose humiliation on all working class tenants will be defeated by united working class struggle. It is likely that working class people will demonstrate against and occupy segregated housing facilities. The same thing is likely to happen at development sites where housing for the well-off is being built on the ground where working class people used to have their homes.
The Labour Party is the party of the rich. The working class must understand that voting for people like Corbyn, however positive their rhetoric sounds, will not ultimately lead to the changes we need.
Join us on the 23 September, from 12 noon, at Tottenham Green (nearest tube Seven Sisters) to support the residents of Haringey.