Opinion: Let’s keep social housing in London

As the ‘housing crisis’ debates continue and all political parties table motions to attract voters for the 2015 elections, we in Hackney Downs feel it’s time to raise our campaign which is in support of social housing in London.

Our bold online petition is calling for London Local Authorities and Chief Executives to publicly declare their non-attendance and to actively refrain from selling our public land for housing at the property fair in October 2014 and thereafter.  The host boroughs have already done so and it is time the remaining boroughs follow.

The MIPIM event takes place over four days from 15th October at Olympia in London.  This is a networking event with tickets costing more than £1400.  It could be argued that this is the birthplace of London’s gentrification.  Recent re-development projects reaching high into the clouds of our city in areas such as Elephant and Castle, Stratford and Hackney have all failed to produce the 50% for social housing.  This is because our public land is sold off cheaply at events like MIPIM and the developers simply wont build units for social rent.

Oliver Wainwright’s Guardian article on 17 September 2014:

The truth about property developers: how they are exploiting planning authorities and ruining our cities

looks in detail at how London’s skyline has changed by squeezing out social housing.  Our Local Authority is paid for by residents to uphold our democratically agreed policies and therefore they must ensure new builds have social housing.

As members of Hackney Downs, we are committed to resolving our housing needs for today and for our future generations, and to achieve that we need to raise awareness about the impact events like MIPIM have in reducing social housing.

There is a planned event on the opening day that is aimed to raise further awareness at how events like MIPIM distort the housing market.  Property fares stoke the fire of gentrification and it is for this reason we are asking all local authorities to publicly declare their non-attendance and to refrain from selling our public land for housing at these exclusive events.  Please sign our petition if you agree.

* Teena Lashmore is the Vice Chair London Region Liberal Democrats and writes in a personal capacity.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • @William Hobhouse – I suggest you read the Guardian article Teena links to for an answer to your question. (It also contains an interesting link to an article about London’s future skyline ( http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/ng-interactive/2014/mar/london-skyline-changing-now-future-pictures ).

    Whilst the article may be a little biased in its viewpoint, it raises several issues that need to be resolved if the housing needs of the millions of people in London you allude to are to be addressed.

  • R Uduwerage-Perera 2nd Oct '14 - 12:15pm

    Teena has raised an issue that I feel should be of concern to us all given the crisis that exists over housing in London and elsewhere.

    People may be interested to check out the MIPIM website that in my opinion clearly is seeking to establish not just London, but the UK as an international source of commercial property ‘investment’.

    I do not wish to be totally cynical for within the entire event there is one 45 min session contrasting on “the case for investing in affordable housing” and one on “student housing: is it really “alternative” anymore?”. The vast majority of the workshops appear to be about ‘how to make a profit from housing’.

    I am concerned that a profit driven viewpoint alone on housing will leave vast numbers of our fellow citizens out in the cold!

    Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera
    English Party Diversity Champion
    Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats – Vice Chair

  • Teena Lashmore
    Thank you for providing the link to
    Oliver Wainwright’s Guardian article on 17 September 2014

    This is very well written and very well informed. Everyone should read it and then sign your petition.

    Even people outside London would read this because the madness of what is happening here might be coming to a city or town near you.

  • Jonathan Brown 3rd Oct '14 - 1:05am

    Good article about a very important issue. Petition signed!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Geoffrey Payne
    (continued from previous message)...
  • Geoffrey Payne
    No one likes to talk about it, not even the Liberal Democrats, but we have a public sector funding crises. Our most successful campaigns; sorting out the sewage...
  • Geoffrey Payne
    We have to always be prepared for the unexpected. It is good politics therefore to claim that there may be an early General Election. However the usual rule a...
  • Tim Rogers
    As well as Ukraine and Gaza it is possible that Burma is about to implode. All the coups in West Africa remain unresolved. Venezuela might have a go at Guyana. ...
  • Tim Rogers
    I know that nobody will like it but we are already in a second cold war. The Moscow Beijing axis will grow,especially in Middle East and Africa. The Americans w...