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Gentrification of local towns and cities

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Ginja ninja's picture
Ginja ninja
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Feb 9 2005 14:45
Gentrification of local towns and cities

Ive noticed a lot of Smaller shops & lower rent accomodation places are being pushed out of the main city spaces of my local city (canterbury), i noticed this up in Leeds also. I know gentrification's always been going on but it seems to have had a new spurt in the last couple of years, Anybody got any ideas on how we can oppose this & stop the poor & working class from being forced out of the city spaces?

the button's picture
the button
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Joined: 7-07-04
Feb 9 2005 15:52

I'd get involved in any campaigns/actions to defend social housing.

The government's Decent Homes Standard is in fact a smokescreen for the sell-off/privatisation of social housing, because in order to get access to funds to improve their housing stock, local authorities have to agree to either PFI, the so-called "ALMO" (Arms Length Management Organisation!), or straight privatisation.

I raised this (and continue to raise it -- they're sick of the sight of me wink ) in my community association in lovely Lewisham. One short term victory was that the council gave the estate some cash for improvements on a no-strings basis, that had previously been tied to the Decent Homes Standard. What we did was picket/stalk the council's Decent Homes Standard roadshow, turn up wherever they did, leaflet, turn up at meetings, heckle & generally not go away.

red n black star

lucy82
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Feb 11 2005 07:29
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The government's Decent Homes Standard is in fact a smokescreen

even worst when they introduce their own standard for example the Salford standard which is set conveniently higher and more expensively above the Decent Homes standard and so of course tenants are going to want it which gives the council the opportunity to trot out inflated figures of how much money they need and so push PFI.

240 employees of City of Salford just gone to PFI Urbanvision. its the thin end of the wedge. started with the ALMO and gathering speed by the day...

btw, button. if theres a strong community on your estate, have you thought about becoming a tenant managed organisation? although its unlikely i suppose that applications for that status will be encouraged at this historical point. A further point is that after stock transfer, the legal right to turn the estate into a TMO will be lost.

anyway, sorry, don't get me started on social housing...

i don't know how to stop gentrification and stop people getting shoved out of the city centre. its the same in manchester (spread like a bad rash during the commonwealth games). there is the idea of squatting a building but its getting harder and harder to do that as everywhere turns into posh shops. don't really understand why defending social housing will affect the gentrification of main city spaces as most social housing is not situated in the city centre.

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PaulMarsh
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Feb 11 2005 08:10
Ginja ninja wrote:
Ive noticed a lot of Smaller shops & lower rent accomodation places are being pushed out of the main city spaces of my local city (canterbury),

You should try coming to Hackney!

I know the media has only just cottoned on the concept of white flight (about 20 years after it began in this country) but it still seems to have missed the significant social change of large numbers of wealthy people, who would normally live on in the suburbs or country, buying houses in areas like Bermondsey, Hackney and the, once working class, Islington.

About 5 minutes walk from my house a run down pub has just been sold for £1 million. It will be converted into 10-12 yuppie flats, all retailing at well over £250,000. This has happened to four or five other pubs that I am aware of.

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the button
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Feb 11 2005 11:16
lucy82 wrote:
don't really understand why defending social housing will affect the gentrification of main city spaces as most social housing is not situated in the city centre.

On reflection, I'm maybe being a bit London-centric. If I think back to where I was brought up (near Hull), there was the Bransholme housing estate (at the time, the largest in Europe), stuck in the middle of nowhere, & housing 1 in 6 of the city's population.

I've got used to living in lovely Lewisham now, which has small estates dotted around the place. Where I live now is only 5/10 min walk from Lewisham Centre.

So yeah, focusing on social housing isn't an approach that would work universally, but might be worth a bash in some circumstances. I posted a thing on the newswire a while back about a council block in Deptford being sold off & turned into £200,000+ "penthouse flats." In those kind of circumstances, I'd say that defending social housing is fighting gentrification.

Mike Harman
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Joined: 7-02-06
Feb 11 2005 15:33

Shit, is that what they're doing to it Paul? Thought it was going to just be an irritating Hoxton-bar-rip-off instead. Which by the way have come out all the way to Clapton - something something builders on Lower Clapton Road complete with dreambagsjaguarshoes style original shop sign, which had a DJ playing a 13 year old Best of Acid Jazz CD through the first and only time I went in (I know this 'cos I bought it when I was 11 years old), and shit beer. Fucking terrible.

Carl
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Joined: 27-09-03
Feb 11 2005 15:39

For fuck sake why is`nt gentrification an issue for anarchists ? Look the Privatisation of Council housing is the worst fucking nightmare which is yet to be realised by the Poor/underclass.

Below is a story in the `Blast` new newsheet for NortheastClassWar which it is hoped you`d get a flavour of a future from which we are all just getting the same shit but the result will be a dispersed communities getting told how they are not wanted on middle englands heartless estates. well just read.

SAME WAGES, SAME SHIT, SAME THUGS ROBBING US BLIND

The northeast looks to be getting it in the neck again as further job losses kick the region in the balls. Oblivious to common sense, reports from the media balance these losses by announcements of new shops opening offering low skilled work, part time hours and wages.

Again oblivious to anyone’s logic is how these jobs replace work done by mainly men. What it does do is shove partners and wives into a position of supporting the family on worse wages, while balancing the household budget on benefits, grinding thousands in the region into poverty.

The labour party’s promises to lower poverty are implausible as recently revealed figures highlight the shocking numbers of people claiming benefit. A further example of a region in decline was a report by `Experian` which put the region at the bottom of a national league table for growth.

Campaigners `End Child Poverty` who revealed the figures for this region has said in some wards we are looking at 70% deprivation. The worst hit in the region being Grange Town, Middlesbrough at 61.4% and the figures are not much lower for outline areas with Bishop Auckland’s, Woodhouse Close estate being at a high of 43.3%.

Reported on in the `Northern Echo` Redcar & Cleveland Labour Councillor for South Bank, Ian Jeffery said on this issue “It no secret Poverty is alive and well in this area” adding “People cant get out of it themselves and in my opinion, it all about redistribution of wealth as the gap between the rich and poor is as wide as its ever been”

ClassWar says tell us something new, it your Party that likes to remind people your in power and as for the gap, it is happening under your govenmentship.

Following reports, it has come to the attention of us that Labours answer to this problem is to disperse any poor into mixed communities, away from the soulless estate so many of us count as home.

Lets get down to the facts, the plan is to kick us off our estates to a house that’s going to cost us an arm & a leg to rent or buy, sell the estate of wholesale to their buddies the middle class and the government knowing they cannot afford the increased housing benefits they are going to cut it so you take more responsibility as a customer in where you live.

The seamless quality of labours argument is the figures will no longer look so bad as the problem is dispersed and you get to live among people who have the qualities they admire and want you to live by.

Succeeded by a new thrust in claiming all those on whatever social benefit is a `Scrounger` (Incapacity Benefit) we will have a plan equal to Thatcherism.

How often is it said these `Clowns` need gotton rid of. It seems these clown are having the greatest laugh on us all. We are the masters of the ring, not them and must take charge ourselves and kick aside getting the same shit.

###End

lucy82
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Feb 13 2005 15:31

did anyone say gentrification wasn't an issue for anarchists? confused

anyway, i agree, having had a bit of think, that defending social housing is fighting gentrification in some areas. i'm thinking in particular of the big high demand blocks near manchester city centre on the way to stock transfer this summer. they will go for sure because the land is so central it has conversion to yuppie apartments written all over it...

theres also a whole area where the residents are up in arms and campaigning to stop the demolition and subsequent rebuilding where the majority of the rebuilding will be expensive housing out of their reach. i feel pessimistic to be honest about their chance of success, central government having shoved the council into a monetary straitjacket and PFI is being flogged relentlessly to tenants in the areas where it is one of the options.

lucy82
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Joined: 31-05-04
Feb 13 2005 15:48
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actually gentrification means more middle class girls.

yeah, cause working class girls are such dogs. must be the lack of latte... revol, u thinking with your willie again?

roll eyes

lucy82
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Feb 13 2005 17:15

class traitor.

tongue

lucy82
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Feb 13 2005 20:04
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go off to do their career shit and im left in belfast. We will however meet up years later and she will be in an unhappy typical bourgeois marriage with a guy who is reliable and hard working but lacks that edge, we will have rampant passionate sex and i will hide my broken heart for years, until i crack and stab her bastard surgeon husband to death with his own tools.

i love the mills and boon approach to politics. so much more fun than class war.

haggy
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Joined: 1-03-05
Mar 1 2005 21:02
PaulMarsh wrote:
Ginja ninja wrote:
Ive noticed a lot of Smaller shops & lower rent accomodation places are being pushed out of the main city spaces of my local city (canterbury),

You should try coming to Hackney!

I know the media has only just cottoned on the concept of white flight (about 20 years after it began in this country) but it still seems to have missed the significant social change of large numbers of wealthy people, who would normally live on in the suburbs or country, buying houses in areas like Bermondsey, Hackney and the, once working class, Islington.

About 5 minutes walk from my house a run down pub has just been sold for £1 million. It will be converted into 10-12 yuppie flats, all retailing at well over £250,000. This has happened to four or five other pubs that I am aware of.

hi paul, is that the pub on debauvoir that is currently a squat or the one on Haggerston Road on the canal - the ex-Overdraught - that Pat the LL sold for £1 million? the latter I know will be sold for flats, but interestingly it is smack on the edge of the estate that is to be stock tfrd - subject to ballot - to London & Quadrant, who have, acc to rumour, got themselves into financial difficulties over it. this will not necessarily stop their redev - cos they'll presumably plan in less social housing and inc the number of private sales - but may persuade tenants to change their minds about voting for them in the ballot. makes our 'no' campaign there a bit easier...

re stock transfers etc, anyone see Polly Toynbee's attack on DCH recently

[url]http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1417383,00.html

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