The humorously titled ‘Our housing offer for London’ by the g15 group of housing associations, aka London-based property conglomerates, contains this killer line: HAs are ‘the most successful public/private partnership on record.’
Public private partnerships, or private finance initiatives, were created by Tony Blair’s New Labour. They’re famously destroying the NHS and the education system in England and Wales. The same ball and chain is swinging at what’s left of the UK’s public and social housing.
Nearly 10 years ago large housing associations began grooming themselves to become partners to government – both local and central – in the gifting and sale of council homes and public land to the private sector. It’s estimated that Notting Hill Housing’s Southwark ‘regeneration’ schemes alone will have lost 9000 council homes in south London by completion. North east London’s Haringey Development Vehicle, a joint venture company 50-50 owned by Haringey Council and private developer Lendlease (not an HA) could, if the current judicial revue fails, take possession of £2bn worth of council houses, public buildings and land.
HARA’s response to Sadiq Khan’s PPP-saturated London Housing Strategy is available now on HARA’s website. Here are a few more g15 killer lines from ‘Our Housing Offer for London’ and our responses:
‘We are responsible for a quarter of all new homes built in the capital.’ Right, including rat and mice infested ones, just one of their 21st century slum outrages.
‘We are independent, charitable … all our profits are invested to deliver our social mission.’ Wrong. g15 HAs aren’t charities. They’re ‘private registered providers’, mainly with zero commitment to social rented homes, investing in homes on sale for up to £1, 350,000 ( https://www.nhillsales.com/sales-developments/330-clapham-road/ ) and rents of up to £2,150pm. ( https://www.nhhg.org.uk/rent-with-us/private-rent/ )
‘We invest to create sustainable, vibrant and aspirational mixed communities.’ You’re joking. Regeneration’s just another word for social cleansing.
‘We need confidence that our rental income will support the debt we need to raise.’ In other words, they’re raising our rents to use as collateral to raise finance to build homes none of us, the majority of Londoners, can remotely afford.
‘We are committed to providing a wide range of products to rent or buy.’ Whoops. Not so charitable then.
‘We will continue to work with our partners to support the ordinary Londoner’s aspiration to own, whilst ensuring there is no loss of social housing.’ Really? Only knocking down social tenants’ homes and bullying us into leaving, and waiting for us to die, so that ‘voided’ social rented homes can be converted into market sale/rented homes.
‘We invest £40m generated from our own resources into London each year.’ And they’re sitting on a cool £3bn reserves.
‘We aim to influence public and housing policy … acting as advocates for our residents …’ Which residents would those be? Not the tenants and leaseholders excluded from decisions about mergers, rent hikes, regeneration, tenancy security/length and service charge hikes.
Here’s a recent tweet from a g15 member:
Remember Rydon, the construction company responsible for Grenfell Tower’s cladding?