Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to demolish 8,000 council homes
27 December 2018
Residents in working class housing estates are organising in opposition to the Labour Party mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s proposed social cleansing “regeneration” schemes.
In February, Khan proposed “mandatory balloting schemes where any demolition is planned as a strict condition of his funding.” Residents “would be at the heart” of decision-making, and there “must be no loss of social housing,” claimed the mayor.
At a Mayor’s Question Time in March, Khan promised he would not sign off on any new estate demolitions during a consulting period ending April 10. He concealed the fact that he had just hastily pushed through dozens of proposals allowing demolition and refurbishment by Labour councils and housing associations, all of whom would avoid his “progressive” new policy.
Khan’s rush to allow funding for these schemes excluded from balloting ensure that 31,000 residents in at least 8,000 homes will face demolition on 118 estates in the coming decade, with other estimates placing the numbers even higher.
Answering criticisms, Khan cynically claimed he had kept his promise not to sign off on any new estate demolitions. But social cleansing continues under his administration. He said most decisions on the 34 estates had already been made before the summer of 2017 (he was elected in May 2016) and that 16 of the contracts signed after December 1 were for schemes already receiving City Hall funding.
Moreover, there are further restrictions on democratic accountability even on those developments not excluded from voting. Only schemes with Greater London Authority (GLA) funding would be eligible, and only where at least 150 new homes are…