Socialist Worker

New Era residents celebrate victory in fight over homes

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2435

New Era tenants protest last year

New Era tenants protest last year (Pic: Dean Ryan)


Tenants were celebrating at the New Era estate in Hackney, east London last month, after beating the corporation that had planned to kick them out and treble the rent.

After a series of protests, landlords Westbrook Partners sold the estate where 93 families live.

The new owner is Dolphin Group, which aims to provide homes to people on low and middle incomes. 

It pledges to freeze rents for over a year and then base them on tenants’ incomes, not rocketing market rates.

This is a major victory for tenants who faced being evicted and scattered far and wide in search of homes they could afford. 

It can also be an inspiration to others struggling with the housing crisis. The campaigners showed that the greedy landlords can be beaten. However, relying philanthropic landlords is not a long term solution.

Last year Peabody, one of London’s biggest housing associations, decided to hike up the rent on homes it had bought.

Housing needs to be taken out of the chaos of the market, with direct investment in council housing and the reintroduction of rent controls.

That’s why campaigners across London are preparing for a march on City Hall on Saturday 31 January.

 


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