All you have to do is take a bus journey through Vauxhall and Battersea, to realise the massive influx of new housing and development taking place in the capital. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against development, i have no problem with new housing, it is something that I am extremely passionate about. However, I am against gentrification and the social cleansing of our communities.
People that have built their communities from the ground up are being pushed out by rising rents, extortionate house prices and poor standards of living due to the rise in prices for everyday goods. This has a devestaring effect on the people who have built their lives in a community only to be pushed out by ‘luxury’ apartments and multi billion international oligarchs who are buying up huge swathes of land in the UK and selling it off at incredibly high prices that working people (who are the people most in need of housing) will only be able to afford if they borrow huge sums of money from the banks, eventually never to pay it back.
Another recent example of this problem, is the demolition and redevelopment of the Heygate estate in Elephant & Castle where I live. The huge council run estate was home to 3000 people. Now people have said that it was ugly and dirty and made the area look degenerate and deprived. Now admittedly it was not the prettiest of housing estates however this complex gave a good home for thousands of families close to the centre of London. Now what they have done and plan to continue, is demolish these homes, rebuild new homes and sell them for prices reaching £380,000 (for a 1 bedroom house). This is the problem.
In 2014, homelessness saw a 16% increase from the previous year alone. Now what I will ask is how are we supposed to tackle homelessness when hard-working happy families are being priced out of their communities? And it’s not just london. All over the country we are seeing huge rises in gentrification and the lack of good affordable social housing in Britains most populated and deprived areas. So while David Cameron and his Tory buddies in the cabinet sell off 5 million empty homes to Chinese and American oligarchs, what do we do?
We must oppose the Tory plans to socially cleanse the UK’s poor communities and dismiss their claims that they are doing everything they can to help homelessness as the number of people using food banks continues to rise, and we must protest against the selling off of properties that can be used to house the homeless and can also be used to house thousands of refugees, refused entry into the UK by our government that mask themselves as the ‘party of the worker’.