Just Where Do You Stand On Housing?

Where Do You Stand On Housing?

the government commissioner’s investigations into the London Borough of Tower
Hamlets and subsequent events, an opening for the position of Mayor of Tower
Hamlets has led the following candidates to announce their candidacy for the
position, with an election due on 11th June:


Rabina Khan                    –

John Biggs                       – Labour

Peter Golds                     –  Conservative

Nicholas McQueen           – UKIP

John Foster                      – Green Party

Elaine Bagshaw                – Liberal Democrats

Andy Erlam                       – Red Flag Anti-Corruption

Vanessa Hudson              – Animal Welfare Party

Hafiz Abdul Kadir              – Independent

Motiur Rahman Nanu         –Independent

Social Club is a non-funded grassroots campaign for
minimum 50% social tenancies to be retained in all social housing
redevelopments with a focus on Ernö Goldfinger’s masterpiece of residential social
housing Balfron Tower. We are aiming to highlight the catalogue
of failures that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has allowed to happen to our
social housing in recent years.

Registered Social Landlords control of local housing has allowed them to asset
strip prime property and prime locations. Entire housing estates are then
demolished or refurbished, rebranded and marketed as luxury flats overseas, out
of reach of local people, both geographically and financially.

The effect
has been that Housing Associations, like Poplar Harca and East End Homes, have
swept through the borough, leaving behind insecurity and poverty amongst our
friends and neighbours as they set about socially cleansing our neighbourhoods.
The occasional ‘affordable’ housing unit is then thrown in to satisfy a public
relations department that can then bamboozle those making enquiries into where
our social housing has gone, fudging numbers and terminology to make their
actions look acceptable.

to convert Balfron Tower into luxury apartments have been a step too far for
the people of Poplar. We are not going to stand back as the plunder of our
housing continues by those intent on dismantling what was built for us, as they
make cosy deals with their friends in finance at Canary Wharf.

what have our elected politicians done to stop this outrage so far? You would
think that such a serious issue of land grabs and the dismantlement of social
housing, especially in an area with such severe levels of homelessness and poverty,
would be taken seriously by politicians, elected officials voted in by member of
the electorate to represent their interests?

recent years, we have seen little that suggests that our elected
representatives are going to stand up for our housing, and to stand up and refuse
to let our social landlords push us around as they plunder our architectural
and municipal heritage, like the privatisation of Balfron Tower, or the planned
demolition of architectural masterpiece Robin Hood Gardens, soon to be
demolished and replaced by thousands of bland luxury apartments for workers in
Canary Wharf, but priced well out of reach of local people, even those earning
enough money to qualify for so called ‘affordable’ housing.

are asking that all of the above mayoral candidates issue a statement
addressing housing in the borough, and to advise us their position and intent in
this regard, and what, if anything, they are prepared to do to defend social housing,
or indeed whether they support the status quo. We believe that housing is a
major issue for the majority of residents in Tower Hamlets and could be an
issue that may influence how somebody may choose to vote.

It is
our opinion that the commissioners that recently investigated Lutfur Rahman should
turn their attention as to why the boroughs housing is being subjected to a
neo-liberal agenda of the asset stripping of taxpayer-funded housing, and
leaving behind the casualty of thousands of families, countless numbers of
schoolchildren, living with insecure short-term housing.

are you standing for Mayor of Tower Hamlets to see what you can strip off for
yourself and your powerful friends, or are you going to stand up and say that
enough is enough, it was the people of Tower Hamlets that elected me their Mayor
and I am going to fight for them, their housing and their quality of life?

where do you stand on housing?

Balfron Social Club

Poplar, E14

19 May 2015

Balfron Social Club is on Twitter and Facebook.