The Great Housing Swindle
July 2, 2016
Years ago, Margaret Thatcher got elected. Her and her gang nicknamed ‘The Tories’ conned loads of us to buy our council houses.
At the time people said, “Don’t do it, it’s a con”. Yet many fell for it. Some wanted to make a quick buck. Others saw it as “protecting” their housing security. Not trusting local authorities, buying seemed the best option. When huge repair bills arrived and interest rates hit the roof, many were evicted for mortgage arrears or left with huge debt.
Now, these homeowners who took housing out of the council’s stock are again realising they were conned by ‘The Tories’.
Haringey Council needs to build 20,000 new homes in the borough. One place they are looking to do this is our council estates. They plan to knock down whole estates and sell the land to private developers who will ‘redevelop’ the land. Private developers don’t do this to ‘help the poor of Haringey’ or ‘improve our housing and security’. They do it for big profits for them and their shareholders.
If this goes ahead, council tenants will probably be rehoused. They may have less security and rent levels may rocket but at least they will have a home.
Property owners, though, will be ‘bought out’ for market value plus 10%. But with homes being knocked down, what will “market value” be? New homes will be hugely more expensive. This has happened throughout London. Few people move back in as they can’t afford the prices.
Tenants renting off private landlords (who bought ex-council homes cheaply) will be evicted. Landlords will make a profit and move on. We have made these our homes but the Council and landlords don’t care if we are homeless. ‘The Tories’ are a gang. They inflict more extortion, stress and fear than most gangs we hear about.
There is an alternative. Residents on Broadwater Farm (and other estates) are getting together and fighting these attacks on their homes. People are realising that the Council’s (another gang) lies are just that – lies. Most won’t move back onto their estates. Most will end up miles from family and friends. It’s time to fight back. If your estate might be up for ‘regeneration’ (read demolition and rip offs), speak to your Tenants’ Association or set one up. Talk to people on other estates. But most of all fight like mad. These are our homes not the Council’s. Councillors need to understand we tell them what to do, not the other way round. Haringey Solidarity Group will happily help where we can.