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London mayor Sadiq Khan sets out his new housing policy on Friday with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. He unveiled plans to require councils to ballot residents – tenants, leaseholders and freeholders – on housing estates earmarked for demolition, if they want city hall funding for the work.
The Financial Times account is summarised here – stripped of derogatory adjectives and adverbs.
FT journalists describe this move as ‘a backlash against lucrative redevelopment schemes in the capital’ and one council leader, who declined to be identified, said Mr Khan was “playing to different galleries” because he was worried about his reselection in the summer.
The National Housing Federation welcomed Mr Khan’s plans and pointed out they already speak to tenants about development schemes.
Haringey’s £4bn plans to redevelop estates with Lendlease, an Australian property company, are currently the subject of a legal challenge.
Several councils in the capital, including Haringey, have encountered widespread opposition to redevelopment plans involving private companies, because of concerns about inadequate levels of social housing.
Last year Jeremy Corbyn, set out plans for all new regeneration projects to involve ballots of residents. He welcomed Mr Khan’s move, saying:
“Regeneration must put local people first, not property speculators. Too often these large projects have led to social cleansing, jacking up of rents and communities broken apart.”
Outlining his policy, Mr Khan said he wanted to make sure people living on housing estates were “at the heart of any decisions from the outset”. Sir Stuart Lipton, a veteran property developer who wrote a report on Tottenham for city hall following riots in 2011, advocated allowing some residents to stay in their homes during estate overhauls, while other parts are redeveloped.
Stuart Lipton agreed: “People like their community and their friendship with their neighbours, and we should be respecting that”. He added that balloting residents of estates before demolishing them was “absolutely the right idea . . . The local community have often been forgotten in London”.