Save our Square (SOS), a group fighting high rise tower blocks in Walthamstow, say high rents mean working class people are being “pushed out” of their homes. Figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed homes in London will need to increase by a quarter within 25 years to cope with population increases. Nancy Taaffe, the chairman of SOS, believes if more homes are built they need to be affordable for working-class people.
She said: “More council housing needs to be built and I think the Mayor of London should make London a rent-controlled city. There has to be some sort of situation where working class people can afford to live. Thousands of working-class people are pushed out of their homes.”
She claims if you stand at any transport hub in the borough, you will find women and children on the move between different temporary accommodation. She said one particular woman she met had been moved with her child to a different social home every six months.Ms Taaffe said the planned developments of high-rise tower blocks in Walthamstow Town Square is just one example of how regeneration is failing social housing residents. The planned development will include 500 homes, 30 per cent of which will be ‘affordable’, and 8,000 square metres of retail space.
She said: “The Town Square model is going to exacerbate the social housing situation. The houses that are being built do not meet current needs and a real minority of flats in Town Square are affordable.” Ms Taaffe also criticised the housing strategy in London for not building enough social homes or homes young and working-class people can’t afford.
She said: “The model for regeneration has actually compounded the housing problem, it is a completely privatised model that does not answer the needs of people that have a chronic housing problem.”