At work we observe firsthand how London’s “housing crisis” has been constructed with policy that insidiously aims to exacerbate land values – ultimately, through the transfer of public housing stock to private developers (including Special Purpose Vehicles set up by councils themselves).
The GLA has created a step-by-step guide for local authorities to undertake quick-and-easy estate regeneration – as a demonstration of the Mayor’s commitment to “Homes for Londoners” – in the form of the Mayor’s (Draft) Good Practice Guide to Estate Regeneration. In a similar fashion to the way that residents are consulted on the demolition of their homes, the 40-page document has been available to view and comment on since mid-December.
Despite our views on the the illusion of democracy, it is important that the public make their voices heard. You have until Tuesday, March 14th to send your comments, here. To ease the process, we have gone through the document to make a few points clearer.
A critical breakdown from the 35% Campaign ( – set up by the Elephant Amenity Network in response to Southwark Council’s failure to ensure that housing developments provided a minimum of 35% affordable housing, as required by the local plan).
The ASH Good Practice Guide to Resisting Estate Demolition, produced by Architects for Social Housing.
Sian Berry says it is useless – ripping up the Mayor’s manifesto promise that ‘estate regeneration only takes place where there is resident support’, and doing nothing to ensure residents on estates can block the demolition of their homes.
The residents of Cressingham Gardens “feel that the document fell far short from its lofty title”, and submitted strong recommendations to the Mayor.
Demolition Watch: “As it stands the Draft Guide will allow local authorities, housing associations and their private developer partners to continue demolishing estates, destroying communities and reducing social rented housing. By only offering recommendations without a rigorous set of commitments and conditions, the Guide will not improve the chances of schemes offering the real benefits of good quality, ‘genuinely affordable’ new homes for London.”
Just Space‘s response is strongly critical, and proposes a co-production approach to writing a better version.
This collective response (also archived by Just Space) is from “a cross-section of academics, policy-makers, regeneration specialists, housing activists, community groups, council tenants and leaseholders, social housing providers, and other organizations who have researched and/or worked with council tenants/leaseholders, social/affordable housing, across London, or have experienced first – hand the effects of ‘estate regeneration’”.