Tuesday 3 February 2015

My most popular tweet ever!

Two weeks ago I published the tweet below after seeing a news report on BBC London. It was about residents from the West Hendon estate who are being forced out of their homes due to private developers building new luxury properties.

Watching the report only irritated me. I thought, here's another example of people being forced out of London as affordable social housing is replaced by expensive luxury flats financed by property developers.

Although there are meant to be provisions for affordable social housing in these new developments. The reality is that people on low to average incomes can't afford to live in them and are forced out of their communities.

It's nothing more than a form of social cleansing!

My stats: 634 views, 7 favourites, 1 reply and 22 retweets.

Having moved from the Midlands. One thing I've always loved about living in London, is the incredible mix of people that you encounter. This doesn't just apply to meeting people from different parts of the country or from around the world - it's also the fact people from different backgrounds, and social classes live side by side to each other.

This is slowly being lost as property prices rise to such ridiculous levels that many people can no longer afford to live in London. I really feel for those Londoners who have been born and bred in city, particularly inner London boroughs who are being forced out of their communities.

I'm witnessing this in my own borough of Newham. Since the Olympics in 2012, Stratford has undergone a huge amount of regeneration with loads of new developments being built. Don't get me wrong Stratford has improved massively in the last 7 - 8 years, but none of these new homes around the Olympic stadium are affordable to most Newham residents.

In Stratford there is a campaign group similar to OurWestHendon called Focus 15. The group made up of mothers, occupied a number of flats in Stratford in protest over a US property firm who had taken over their estate and who intended to increase rents. The comedian Russell Brand has been active in supporting them.

This drive for high priced apartments at the cost of affordable property is simply unsustainable. How is a city expected to function if people on low and average wages are forced out of the capital or to London's outskirts and then forced to commute in, to perform the jobs needed for the city to operate?

It seems obvious that my tweet struck a cord with many other people which is why it proved so popular. The fabric and identity of London is slowly being lost as London becomes nothing more than an investment opportunity and playground for overseas property developers.

It's always nice to get a 'like' or 'retweet' on twitter but if feels a lot better when you say something that's of real importance and concern to people and I think this was clearly evident from the response to my tweet.

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