02 September 2011

These days, council flats are like gold dust. So why is Hammersmith council reducing their numbers?

More on the nastiness we can expect from the Tories, led by former mayor Cllr Andrew Johnson, at Monday's council meeting (5 September).

Under the pretext of refurbishing Edith Summerskill House, a block of 68 council flats by North End Road, Hammersmith & Fulham council "decanted" the tenants to other properties. Now the building is vacant, they intend not to do it up but to sell it off to their friends the property developers.

Edith Summerskill House provided affordable homes for nearly 150 people, with 48 two-bed and 16 three-bed flats. However, tucked away in the council's Equality Impact Assessment is the admission that only 40% of the flats that will replace it will be affordable.
"The draft planning assessment envisages that 40% of all the units delivered through a refurbishment or redevelopment option would be affordable  predominantly as intermediate housing such as shared ownership or shared equity. " (See EIA, under "Sex", page 7)
Forty per cent of 150 people is only 60 people. So 90 of the people who are currently living in unsuitable accommodation and would have got a flat in a fully-affordable, refurbished Edith Summerskhill House will just have to keep on waiting.

Anyone who has any further doubt that the council doesn't give a monkey's about low-income residents need look only at the Brave New World language they use to describe their machinations in the main report that Cllr Johnson will ask his colleagues to nod through on Monday:
"The disposal of the site will give the opportunity to create high quality 21st-century [hooray, not 19th-century!] living accommodation that will provide a mixed tenure scheme delivering a range of accommodation types that will provide much needed opportunities for residents of the borough to access a range of housing opportunities." (See report, para 3.3)
What does this illiterate garbage mean? It means they just don't care.

Council flat-cutter Andrew Johnson


Caroline ffiske said...

I think its is a wonderful scheme. Apparently it would have cost thousands to bring each of the existing flats up to Decent Homes standards. I think mixed developments are great for the whole community.

buddyhell said...

Oh, I'm sure that explains everything. Your 'vision' of "mixed communities" is a figment of the imagination.The simple fact is that the council lied to the tenants of Edith Summerskill House. You're fooling no one.

Single Aspect said...

The decent homes initiative has been criticised in some quarters "books like Sarah Glynn's excellent Where the Other Half Lives allege that Decent Homes was engineered to ensure costs were so high that it put pressure on councils to offload their stock onto housing associations . . .the argument is that while the maintenance on, say, insulation, communal areas etc were clearly necessary, other things such as cladding and, especially, new fitted kitchens, were hardly essential to these buildings' future." that's a quote from a correspondent of mine who knows what they're talking about and the book is no doubt worth a read.