Estate Plus Protests

BANNER-waving tower-block tenants staged an angry protest last week over sell-off plans which could see their council homes demolished.

Families living in the 160 flats on the Gascoyne Two estate in South Hackney are fighting privatisation plans which could involve knocking down their four rundown 10-storey blocks.

Furious tenants complain they face an uncertain future, plus higher rents and less secure tenancies, over proposals to transfer control from Hackney Council to a housing association landlord.

They have blasted as a “sham” a public consultation open day setting out the preferred options for demolition or refurbishment.

The plans include bulldozing at least two, or maybe all four, blocks and replacing them with low-rise homes.

The alternative is to renovate the buildings, although tenants are angry that they will continue to have to use costly storage heaters because the design of the 1960s-built flats has been deemed structurally unsafe for gas central heating.

“Tenants will face huge upheaval being moved off the estate while the demolition or refurbishment is carried out with no guarantee they will return or be offered comparable-sized accommodation,” said Adrian Peacock, who lives in Ravenscroft Point.

A letter signed by more than 30 tenants opposing the sell-off plans has been sent to the three Wick ward councillors.

This week, the deputy mayor of Hackney, Cllr Jamie Carswell, gave reassurances that the open day was designed to inform residents of the latest developments and get an initial opinion, and that other consultation events would be arranged.

He defended the council’s Estates Plus scheme, which he said was funded separately and designed to improve the estate as a whole, supplementing Decent Homes work.

[Taken from the Hackney Gazette website]