Monday, 14 February 2011

Homelessness beckons my old neighbours

Single mum in the coffee shop who lives in the low rise block opposite Papier Mache Tower told me on Friday that she'd received a letter from the council saying her home was going to be knocked down as part of a massive regeneration project in two years time.

Not just her low rise. Papier Mache's going too and large swathes of the estate. I heard about the plans at our residency meeting (couldn't find the post for you right now) but when we'd ask councillors, they'd say 'No! There are no plans!'

The idea, apparantly, is to raze the whole lot to the ground, then build more, but smaller units. Grandparents who perhaps have their children and grandchildren to stay will be moved to bedsits, said the mum.

The problem with some people, I countered, is that they might want to move to smaller premises but they do not want to go from a little garden flat to the top of a tower.

One woman in the coffee shop, who knew the single mother I was chatting to said: "I am not giving up my four bedroom flat. I waited 13 years for that."

Thousands of people are going to be affected. It will potentially be absolutely horrific with massive displacement on a huge scale. Families have their children in schools nearby, or relatives and friends, whole communities they've lived within for years and years.

When my mate Charlie's estate was regenerated, he could stay in his home while the new tower was being built behind it.

I don't think this is going to happen in the Ward of Matthew Mark Luke and John.

I don't know what is going to happen. I know I can't bid on flats to go back there though, now knowing there's no security and my son and I'll just be made homeless again.

And here's one more pleasant thought. My lease ends in two years, at the same time as these families will be forced from their homes.

A massive boom in homelessness!!

Golly, and that's on top of the April Aftermath - housing benefit cuts hoofing pensioners, disabled, everybody who can't afford their rent, out onto the streets.

Never mind ey, there's Dave's Big Society there to pick everyone up!

I mean, you will pick us all up, won't you?

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