This week, developers, corporate landlords and politicians gathered for the London Real Estate Forum, for what its website described as the “premier event for the development sector, hosted in the heart of Mayfair, Berkeley Square, bringing two days of debate, deals and networking took place in Old Street.”
So we contacted Hackney Council to find out what was going on. We got the following response;
“[Guy] was invited to speak on a panel about Old Street and Shoreditch commercial property and jobs and is not attending the conference apart from that panel discussion.
He is there explicitly to discuss the negative effect of rising values in Shoreditch/Old Street and that there should be strong planning requirements for affordable workspace in order to maintain the success of the area and borough. I think all that Cllr Nicolson is trying to achieve is to ensure that the boroughs viewpoint (i.e. emphasis on affordability in both residential and commercial property) is put forward.
“I can also confirm that nobody from our housing department is attending the conference… Our priority is to use our land to maximise the delivery of social and genuinely affordable homes and we believe that delivery by the Council directly is the most effective way to do that.”
As ever, Digs will be keeping a close eye on the council and taking action against regeneration that is makes the housing crisis worse. For the last two years we have succeeded in persuading Hackney Council to boycott MIPIM, the world’s largest and most decadent property fair which has become infamous for deals which sell off public land and make developers very rich.
We say regeneration that doesn’t serve residents is no regeneration at all. And the”Regeneration” sought at events like the London Real Estate Forum push more and more residents into a private sector, which our own research in Hackney shows, is systematically refusing to house people on benefits. It seems to us like the Council’s verbal support for our YesDSS campaign appeared to be undermined by their attendance at such an event.
If you’re worried about bad regeneration in Hackney or the fact that landlords and letting agents are getting rich while people are being evicted, priced out and made to live in terrible housing, get involved in Digs!
Our next support group and planning meeting is Monday 27th June, 7-9pm at the New Kingshold Community Centre, 49 Ainsworth Road, E9 7JE.
Everyone is welcome and there will be delicious samosas.