Saturday 11 March 2006 10.15pm
For several months, this Decent Homes standards thing that councils and Housing Associations and Trusts have to adhere to, is resulting in homes that should be given to those on the housing lists being auctioned off at ridiculous prices to other landlords and property developers and then being let out at market rates. When a flat becomes empty through someone dying or moving on, then this is what is happening on estates not marked as "core" states, as mentioned by the Peabody. This is not just affecting trusts like the Peabody, but if you read in the local papers, it is affecting Church owned properties in the area, too. One of Prescott's comments way back was to get a different "blend" of people living in SE1. This is not fantasy, it is fact. I have been to meetings organised by the TA of Southwark Street
Peabody (not where I live) , I have seen the posters up and around about the Church Housing, I see how the Peabody Trust has closed down it's estate offices (a mixture of this Decent Homes thing and mismanagement of the financials). Every bit of land and every building on any bit of land in SE1 is being sold off and every single one is being turned into a tower block - not affordable housing or those in need and with no thought for the infrastructure being able to cope. We've had problems with electricity power/surges; water pressure; yet more places are being built - no more schools on the horizon, no more power stations or reservoirs. It seems clear to me that the blend of people required are those who can afford to pay extortionate rents and swan off to their suburbian 1st homes at weekends, without children and also without thought for those of us who are actually part of the silent majority who work and pay taxes and who live in these Trust or Council properties. Something stinks in my view and I can see it as plain as the light of day. Is there anything we can do? Are there any of you out there in SE1 who see things the same way? It is certainly scaring me and I would love to be able to do something! Does anyone have any ideas?