Housing

Pembury estate: Residents Speak Out

by Janine Booth

Hackney Solidarity knocked on doors on the Pembury. We asked people’s views about life on the estate.

Hackney Solidarity knocked on doors on the Pembury. We asked people’s views about life on the estate.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Publications: 

Hackney Solidarity

The latest issue of Hackney Solidarity is now available, and is being distributed in communities and workplaces across central Hackney.

The main articles are on housing, including reports from local estates. Other subjects include class sizes at the local primary school, news from local trade unions, a view from a Hackney teenager, and opinions on the recent General Election.

Click 'read more' to read the text, or email Janine Booth for printed copies.



HACKNEY'S HOUSING CRISIS

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

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A future for social housing?

by Tony Osborne

Some Councils, like Hackney where I live, are scrabbling to get on the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) ladder. They think this is the only way they are likely to raise the money after years of (their own!) neglect and mismanagement, to comply with central government’s directive that all Council homes must reach a “Decent Homes” standard by 2010 However, this is by no means guaranteed even if given ALMO status.

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Hackney's housing crisis

Hackney’s housing is in crisis. Council estates are neglected, and thousands can’t get a Council home and are stuck in inadequate rented accommodation.

For decades, the Council has failed to maintain its estates properly. Some have not had so much as a lick of paint in twenty years.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Rent in Hackney?

Council housing is often poor but what is it like renting from private landlords in Hackney? If you're
rich you can take your pick from many renovated and new flats springing up on every available space. If not - and you can forget about getting a council flat, what luxury! - you're faced with poor quality expensive homes, and very little hope of something better.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

The Future of Social Housing

by Tony Osborne

What happens now? Some Councils, like Hackney, are scrabbling to get on the Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) ladder. They think this is the only way they are likely to raise the money after years of (their own!) neglect and mismanagement, to comply with central government’s directive that all Council homes must reach Decent Homes standard by 2010. However, this is by no means guaranteed even if given ALMO status.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Defending Our Homes: People Before Profit

From 'Hackney Solidarity' April 2005 issue, for Aspland & Marcon estates

by Janine Booth

The future of our estates still hangs in the balance, as the Council continues to attack us, and we as a community – through the Tenants’ & Residents’ Association – do our best to stick up for ourselves and our rights.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Publications: 

Defend council housing!

In the run-up to the 1997 general election, the British public was presented with a choice of two similar housing policies by the two main parties. The Conservatives promised wholesale privatisation of council housing. Labour wanted councils to ballot their tenants on whether or not they wanted ownership of their estates to be “transferred” to housing associations. The end seemed to be nigh for council housing. One of the best, and most successful, welfare policies of the twentieth century was to be swept aside by the neo-liberal consensus.

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Decent Homes?

Notes from a talk by Dan Nichols to our AWL branch meeting in August

In the 1997 General Election, the Tories promised complete privatisation of the remaining Council housing stock. Instead of opposing privatisation, Labour instead promised tenants’ ballots before privatisation could go ahead.

Local government has been more than willing to push national government’s agenda.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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The writing on the wall

Inside:

  • Give them the money!
  • Poorer
  • Richer
  • Poorer
  • On the streets
  • And then you die



Give them the money!



The London Evening Standard placarded it all over town: "Mayor Ken's £100,000 crones", implying there is something wrong in Livingstone's six ex-socialist advisers and lieutenants getting a decent wage. The Standard is always against wage rises. Think of the fire fighters; of the Standard's opposition to Blair's very minimal, minimum wage. Whipping up hostility to six of the Mayor's 'advisers' getting new titles and £111,000 a year - a mere pittance in Blair's Britain: two grand a week, or £300 a day - is par for the Standard's reactionary course.
They think the six should work, for say, the average wage of skilled workers?

Culture and Reviews: 

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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London: Bread and Circuses

by Jonathan Glancey, Verso £7

Since the 80s London has been turned over to the play of market forces. The institutions which previously had any form of public service remit have been broken up, sold off, underfunded and downgraded to second class provision or abolished by successive governments. The quality of life has fallen as the city becomes less and less 'livable' in the face of failing infrastructure, a higher cost of living and a widening gap between rich and poor.

Culture and Reviews: 

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The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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Camden defeats ALMO

On 9 January the London Borough of Camden had to announce that 77% of residents voting in a ballot said "No" to its plan to switch the management of its council homes to a private company called an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO). Fewer than 7% of all tenants voted for the ALMO proposal.

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Camden ALMO Ballot Verdict: 77% No!

PRESS RELEASE from Defend Council Housing
Saturday 10 January 2004

CAMDEN ALMO BALLOT VERDICT:
COUNCIL TENANTS TURN THE TIDE AGAINST PRIVATISATION RUSE

The plan of the London Borough of Camden to switch the management of its council homes to a private company called an Arms Length Management Organisation (an ALMO) was in ruins last night after the announcement that 77% of residents who voted said "No" to the ALMO. Fewer than 7% of tenants overall actually supported the ALMO proposal.

It is the first instance anywhere in the country of tenants mobilising sufficiently to overcome the one-sided pro-ALMO propaganda put out by councils to coerce their tenants into support for such schemes.

Issues and Campaigns: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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