CHILDREN’S author and poet Michael Rosen has given his backing to a campaign to stop “social cleansing” in a north London borough.
Tenants and residents lobbied Haringey Council last night over its plans to sell off council land and property in a “£2 billion gamble that residents and business can’t afford to take.”
Mr Rosen, who urged people to attend the demonstration, warned: “This is the social and ethnic cleansing of Tottenham. It must be stopped in its tracks.”
Council leaders have proposed the establishment of a joint-venture company — the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) — in which the council would take a 50 per cent stake, with the rest owned and managed by property developers.
Under the plans, housing estates would be demolished and rebuilt. Its critics warn that the new builds may be offered at higher rents than before, driving out poorer residents and leading to the social cleansing of Tottenham and Wood Green.
The council’s own housing and regeneration scrutiny panel report, published in December, recommended “that the HDV plans are halted.” It warned that the HDV poses “unacceptably high risks” and “what the council and by extension its tenants and residents gain from the proposed HDV is far less clear than what it and they stand to lose.”
Northumberland Park resident Moira Islam said: “I have lived here for 29 years, I have three children here, I know everyone and feel very safe and secure living here. Now I feel very concerned about where I will live.”
Haringey Defend Council Housing spokesman Paul Burnham said: “We think there should be a proper yesno residents’ vote before any sales or any demolitions and a specific, clear offer to people about what’s going to happen.”