Poplar Harca: Outstanding Landlord of the Year?

Firstly, a massive congratulations to Steve Stride and his Registered Social Landlord Poplar Harca, what an incredible achievement being awarded Outstanding Landlord of the Year at the 2015 UK Property Awards.

We find this to be an incredible achievement because you have managed to pull the wool over the eyes of much of the housing industry. However, you are not fooling your tenants or the locals who have watched as you have created almost total insecurity amongst your tenants, as you set about ruthlessly socially cleansing Poplar.

We are fairly sure that when you balloted your potential tenants as to whether the nil-value stock transfer from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets should go ahead, that would allow you to take control of tax-payer funded social housing, that you failed to mention that your real motives were the destruction of that which you claim to support; social housing. The result has been the displacement of those in secure social tenancies, the selling off of prime assets to private property developers, the demolition of social housing which is then resurrected as blocks of luxury flats without any social housing and creating an entire area living in fear of when their estate will be the next to fall to greed and property speculation. A wave of destruction is emanating outwards from Canary Wharf, making those at its periphery very nervous about their the security of their homes, and where their families are going to live when the axe falls on their estate.


Social inSecurity by Poplar Harca. Coming soon: luxury flats        pic: @balfronsocial

Was Poplar Harca ever under the delusion that they were set up to provide luxury flats for bankers? Outrageous manipulation of the figures in which they claim to have as many social housing tenants now as they did when they ruthlessly lied and cheated their way into possession of billions of pounds of tax payer funded housing are just lapped up by lazy journalists from journals like Inside Housing, content to buy into their PR without checking out any of the facts.

“Affordable” housing is not social housing. When you need a £60,000 income to even buy a part share in a home any claims for affordability is just another lie the housing industry and the National Housing Federation, are happy for us to believe. BMW’s, Porsche’s and even a Lamborghini outside a local “affordable” housing block is clear testament as to just how unaffordable “affordable” housing actually is.

No doubt Poplar Harca’s friends at locally based journal Inside Housing think that they deserve such a prestigious award, but they don’t.

Maybe, if Inside Housing were not in collusion with the planned dismantlement of social housing they would just walk out of their corporate steel and glass offices at Canary Wharf, walk the short distance to Poplar and speak to members of the public, some Poplar Harca tenants or even Poplar Harca staff, many of whom were trusted members of our community in secure jobs such as caretakers, going far beyond their job descriptions, further than the Estate Cleaners, on minimum wage, that you replaced them with.


Decanted, Demolished, Rebuilt, Sold: Printon House        pic: @balfronsocial

We believe that most people who work in social housing believe in its core principles of providing genuinely affordable homes to people that need them, and do not believe that the dismantlement of social housing is in the interests of our communities, or our country. We believe that Steve Stride of Poplar Harca has failed our local community, presiding over a phenomenal land grab that would shock people if they were to look beyond their highly effective PR.

We believe that it is time for Mr. Stride and his corrupt organization Poplar Harca to be investigated for the damage they are causing in our communities, for the insecurity they are forcing upon our friends and neighbours, and the ruthless land grab as they demolish social housing and replace it with luxury flats for bankers. Did we mention that Popar Harca have an HSBC board member on their board of directors, and always have had?

But investigated by whom? Homes and Communities Agency? Chartered Institute of Housing? National Housing Federation? London Borough of Tower Hamlets? All we see is signs of collusion and pound signs in the eyes of those who should be looking after us and protecting us from outrageous behavior like this, and a total disinterest in the interests of the people these homes were built for in the first place.


A “void” in Balfron Tower                                   pic: @balfronsocial                    

This destruction of our homes and our communities must stop.

It is time for individuals, tenants, the insecurely housed, housing activists and any organisations out there who believe that what is happening is a crime against our communities to stand up and make yourselves heard before it has all been sold off and there is nothing worth fighting for any more.


A “void” in Balfron Tower                                              pic: @balfronsocial                    

Too many Registered Social Landlords seem to be under the impression that they are luxury property developers rather than providers of genuinely affordable social housing serving our local communities.

So Poplar Harca, enjoy your worthless Landlord of the Year award, and feel pride in the devastation you are causing.

Shame on you.

Balfron Tower, Poplar

22 April 2015