I found this by ASH (Architects for Social Housing) on their Facebook page and it’s too important to leave there so if you are a leaseholder on an estate threatened with redevelopment against your wishes then read, mark, and learn what follows:-

Apart from all this mucking about, one thing that came out of the presentations and discussions, and which was backed up by advice from a barrister and a leasehold lawyer, is that collective resistance by leaseholders forcing Councils to issue Compulsory Purchase Orders against them is one of the most effective ways to resist estate regeneration and save the homes of all residents, leaseholders and council tenants alike.

It costs the Council shitloads, allows us to question the consolation process at legal inquiries, put forward alternative plans and argue that they better represent the needs of the local community, and delays their demolition plans by years. It also casts an uncomfortably bright light on the Plato’s cave of illusions in which the public is imprisoned by the press.

If we can show every leaseholder on every estate in London why they should do this, then the Tory Government, Labour Councils, Savills, and all the other housing associations, building companies and property investors feeding at the London housing table might start to think again about whether estate demolition really is the easiest route to a quick buck.

Time was I thought blogging would be enough. Back in the summer of 2009 I thought get the heads of housing estates under threat talking to each other and the problem will go away, the councils will have to back down.

Read the rest of this entry »


I attended a showing of Estate: a Reverie by Andrea Luka Zimmerman on Wednesday evening at the Tate Modern. Following the film an interesting discussion took place among six interested parties and from the audio I have transcribed some excerpts as shown below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five years ago I wrote “Why sink estates exist” in despair at the course right to buy had taken and the growth of buy to let mortgages.  Now Stephen Farrall of the University of Sheffield has written a similar piece only based on data rather than hearsay. I’ve reproduced it here with permission under the Creative Commons Licence.  The article was originally published on The Conversation.

Thatcher helped people to buy their own homes – but the poorest paid the price

Stephen Farrall, University of Sheffield

It has been 25 years since Margaret Thatcher gave her final, tearful speech as prime minister of the UK on the steps of Downing Street. In the decades since, we’ve had time to get to grips with the legacy left behind by one of the most polarising figures in British politics. Cutting through the visceral, ideological storm she left in her wake has been no easy task, and our research has found that the story told by the data is more complex than we could have imagined.

Read the rest of this entry »

Five years ago I attended Progressive London 2010 at which Karen Buck was speaking, among others.  She identified then the problems that will come to pass with the Governments recent attack on tenure.

Karen Buck was superb with a long talk about the possible loss of secure tenure of council tenants should a Conservative Government be elected and implement the plans outlined by Localis in Principles their now infamous document on Tory proposals for council housing.

She drew a parallel with the experiences of black migrants from the American South coming to Chicago in the 1940s and becoming the victims of slum landlords while suffering the indignities of being “frequent movers”, people unable to take their place in society for want of a stable home address. [The Promised Land – Nicholas Lemann] Karen put forward the view that in the absence of secure tenure and having only an AST with two months to quit, council tenants would become a transient population, unlikely to be registered with a GP, their children changing schools, unlikely to be on the electoral register and to vote. She pointed out that Conservative think council tenants are second class citizens.

Karen Buck is always worth listening to about housing.

Council tenants lose lifetime right to live in property – The Guardian


Click image for audio and see Tweet


If you want to skip the introductions the interview proper starts at 9m20s in.

Heard through @municipaldreams


The other night Channel 4 broadcast Sex in Class and there in the title sequence, before the name of the programme had been shown, appeared this tower block, by implication in Accrington where the programme is based. However, on calling the local planning department the following morning they denied having anything over 7 storeys in their town.

The image above is a photograph of the television screen, I tried to run the C4 online catchup to get a high quality screenshot but all I get is a rotating animation and never the programme so the quality of the image above is necessarily poor.

The mystery remains. This is a scissor maisonette block as evidenced by the alternate corridors whose end windows appear on the right hand side visible in the photo above. There is one corridor for every two levels. That is how scissor blocks work. But I didn’t think there were any outside London and Glasgow and would be interested to know where this one is.

I wrote to Channel 4 and they directed me to the programme makers who have yet to reply.

If you recognise it please drop me a line to blog@singleaspect.org.uk thank you.

Click image for film

Last night ITV devoted their programme to the London housing crisis in the course of which they visited Cressingham Gardens Estate. That clip is linked above and the 30m programme from the link below.

ITV News London 15/4/15

Estates under threat II

April 4th, 2015

We will not get the new social housing we need until there is a profound leftward shift in Government. Whether that comes from a Labour / SNP deal or elsewhere remains to be seen but without it I fear another five years of expulsions

Map ‏@onalifeglug HT @gamecounsel & @CorpWatchUK

Five years ago I wrote this:-

“Among Tory boroughs across London, there seems now to be a disease spreading ever wider that the land on which council tenants live is available for development”

[Tory struck out 7/11/12 owing to realisation that they’re all at it. Hello Southwark (Lab)! – Ed.]

Follow the fight to save London’s social housing @michaellondonsf and planning stuff.

regen3Click image above for film

In part three of Regeneration Game, host Daisy-May Hudson sets out to discover what happens to council estates once they’re demolished. Out of 1,200 homes on South London’s Heygate Estate, only 75 council homes remain. We go to City Hall to meet the Head of the London Assembly, Darren Johnson, who says that the demolition of the Heygate was the worst social housing disaster of recent times. We also head to court, to hear the verdict of the E15 mothers’ eviction.