Since its inception in 2013, Focus E15 campaign has spoken out time and time again on various platforms against the 100s of empty homes laid to waste on Carpenters Estate. As a campaign we agree with the Greater Carpenter’s Neighbourhood Forum’s (GCNF) aim to save the Carpenters Estate for perpetuity as public housing for the people of Newham. There is a huge demand in Newham for decent long term accommodation and low cost rents and we understand by spending time talking to local people on a weekly basis on our street stall that housing insecurity is linked to acute mental health distress. Such pressing social needs were in part addressed by the building of Carpenter’s Estate in 1967 and the original impetus for building this much needed council estate must now be examined again as the GCNF have submitted a new vision for the estate to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), whom due to a legacy from the Olympics still insist of having planning authority over this council estate in Stratford.
It is a grave injustice to residents of the estate and the wider community that Newham Labour Council decanted council residents, shunned their responsibilities to the community and boarded up perfectly decent homes as a spiraling national housing crisis unfolded. The community on the estate and beyond deserves justice after years of shameful and deliberate neglect and mismanagement by the Council.
Focus E15 campaign therefore supports the GCNF’s Neighborhood plan to save the estate and believes that housing refurbishment, adding community facilities and protecting existing council homes from demolition by refurbishment is vital in a borough which has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country and where one in 25 people do not have a permanent home. It is frankly abhorrent for the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council to consider demolition or to sell off to a large property developer, or engage in a variant number of deals and schemes in order to reduce the number of council tenancies by dressing up the amount of ‘homes for social rent’.
The high cost of housing in the insecure private rented sector is leading to destitution. It is clear that the adoption of the GCNF’s neighbourhood plan is the most cost effective way to preserve the existing community on Carpenter’s Estate rather than spend millions of pounds destroying it and it is also the clearest way to uphold environmental responsibilities by avoiding the waste and pollution caused by demolition. By preserving and maintaining the existing estate the rights of leaseholders and freeholders will also be guaranteed.
Focus E15 campaign are currently campaigning with residents in Stratford living in a local hostel called Brimstone House many of whom need to be rehoused in long term and secure housing like that on Carpenters Estate so that they can stay connected to the community and their support networks and escape from the proven unsafe and dehumanising conditions that they are currently enduring.
Focus E15 campaign therefore urges Newham council to support the neighbourhood plan (so far the Council has refused to do so) and for the London Legacy Development Corporation to adopt the plan without delay and to put an end to over a decade of uncertainty for residents on the estate and to give the people of Newham a chance to live in safe and secure housing instead of being left to rot in inadequate temporary accommodation for years on end.
To show your support for community-led housing, expanded green infrastructure, resisting demolition of decent homes and the displacement of social housing communities, please take a minute to participate in the Greater Carpenters Neighbourhood Plan consultation.
UPDATE* The consultation has now been extended to Friday 6 September, 5pm 2019.
Below is the link to the LLDC’s webpage for the consultation. Click on the email address below to give your opinion, or follow the link to the Neighbourhood Plan and the two accompanying documents (the Basic Conditions Statement and the Consultation Statement). The link to the consultation is:
The email address to respond to is: firstname.lastname@example.org