I don’t usually do follow-up articles, but this one has been of particular interest to me so I’m breaking my own rules and going for it. Last week I highlighted an article about the city of London’s plans to turn the Olympic Park site into affordable housing for locals who are desperate for a home that it within their means. I applauded the Olympic planners for this strategy, and questioned why it had taken so long. Now, I’m reading that recent changes to London’s housing policy are posing a threat to the actual affordability of the new homes going up on the Olympic Site. Charlie Cooper of UK publication’s The Independent writes,
“Olympic planners have been warned that they risk “a betrayal” of the east London communities if they do not guarantee local people homes in the regenerated Olympic site.
More than 11,000 new properties will be built on the site of the Olympic Park in the next 20 years but despite assurances that more than a third would be allocated to “affordable housing” there are fears that recent changes to social housing policy will mean that the majority of local people will be frozen out by the high cost.
Baroness Doocey, the Liberal Democrat peer who chaired the London Assembly’s Olympics scrutiny panel, said that denying local people “their fair share” of the new homes would “negate the promise that was made when we won the Olympics seven years ago”.
Five new neighbourhoods are promised across 558 acres in the London boroughs of Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham. The first set of properties, converted from the flats in the Athletes’ Village, will go on sale in little over a year’s time. Homes in the first of the five neighbourhoods, Chobham Manor, in the north of the park, will be ready in late 2014.”
The Euro is just recovering from hitting a 2-year low, and consumers all across the UK are feeling the pinch of the continuing Eurozone crisis. I know that the city could make more money by charging an arm and a leg for those homes, but I urge the planners to take an ethical approach to this situation and think of the people of London who are suffering with high rents and low income.