Monday, September 1, 2014

New publication: 100 Years of Social Housing

A 10-page booklet, now available as a pdf here, describes a walk in Tottenham for the Twentieth Century Society, led by John Goodier on 23rd March 2013.
Summary of Contents (main headings):

Introduction on the history of social housing from earliest discernible origins

The Garden Suburb Movement and Style
The Moselle stream – “hidden force for much of this walk”

Railway Stations: Wood Green, Noel Park, Bruce Grove
Wood Green as shopping centre
taking in Spouters’ Corner, the Library, Gaumont Palace, The Mall and more.
Crown Court
White Hart Lane and Tower Gardens
Lordship Lane Park
Broadwater Farm
Peabody Cottages
Larkspur Close
Finishing at Bruce Castle 

A RaHN member writes:

Council housing has been fought for and defended for generations by those who realise that it is the only secure, affordable housing for working class people. If anything, ALL housing should be a public resource to be treasured and shared fairly, and not be treated as a commodity to be sold for private profit. Everyone should have a decent home as a right.

However Council housing is currently under attack from the Government and property speculators who cant stand what it represents - resources for need not profit. In London in particular, including Tottenham, property speculation and unaffordable house-building is rife, and developers are now pushing to get their hands on our public estates and the public land they sit on in order to build luxury housing for their own greedy profits. Haringey Council is obediently putting up a number of estates for ominous-sounding 'option reviews' and 'proposed redevelopment' - a disgusting, disastrous and failed policy being imposed by the powers-that-be throughout London.

However, wherever there is oppression there is resistance. Campaigners and local Tenants and Residents Associations in many boroughs have fought hard to oppose these sell-offs, and some have created their own Community Plans for the genuine improvements local residents want to see. A shining example of positive community-led regeneration is our very own Broadwater Farm Estate here in Tottenham, as outlined in the pamphlet. When there was talk of knocking it down in the 1980s, the residents demanded and lobbied hard for a range of improvements, and regeneration funding was then found to implement almost all of them. It’s now one of the most attractive estates in London.

There is a national Defend Council Housing movement, and in Haringey we are proud to have had an active Defend Council Housing campaign for the last 10 years. At the time of writing HDCH have held many public meetings on threatened estates and are calling on the residents of all estates, and their supporters, to demand improvements not demolitions.

This pamphlet is an excellent counterweight to the current anti-Council-housing propaganda in the media and in local and national Government. It demonstrates that the lesson of history is that we can and must fight for more and better public services and facilities of all kinds, and decision-making that benefits our communities and satisfies our real needs.

Dave Morris
- Council tenant in Tottenham
- An active member of Haringey Defend Council Housing
- Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations

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