Campaigners in South Hackney want Peabody to stop selling former key worker homes
PUBLISHED: 11:16 08 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:53 08 November 2018
Councillors in the south of the borough have joined a campaign to stop housing association Peabody selling off its old homes for public servants such as nurses and police.
Cllrs Clare Joseph, Katie Hanson and newly-elected Penny Wrout wrote to bosses who had been planning to auction off a former Crown Estate four-bed terrace in Gore Road.
The Victoria Park Residents’ Association has also been campaigning against the sell-off.
The property was eventually pulled from auction for reconsideration, as were two other of Peabody’s former Crown Estate homes – though the Gazette understands they could well go under the hammer again.
The Labour politicians say the building, along with another two in Old Ford Road and Robinson Road on the other side of Victoria Park, were designed as homes for “key workers” and should stay that way.
“We are very concerned Peabody are auctioning off homes at a time when access to affordable housing is so limited,” they wrote. “As you know, these were designed to be homes for key workers and we find it hard to believe that there is not a very large cohort of key workers who would gladly take up the opportunity to rent one of these flats, and thus be near to their place of work to do the jobs we all rely on.”
The Victoria Park Community Residents’ Association has also been campaigning against the sale of the homes.
Vice chair Madeleine Davis said: “When Peabody bought our estate they promised to maintain the commitment to affordable key worker rented housing.
“Now they are selling empty flats without even having tried to let them to key workers. Going ahead with these sales would be the clearest indication possible that the commitments made to tenants, and to London, that these homes would be safe in Peabody’s hands, are not being honoured.”
A Peabody spokesperson said only five of the properties have been sold to date, helping the company invest £10million back into housing.
They said: “When properties become vacant, we review them to make sure they are still suitable for rent, and to understand how much we need to invest to bring them up to the standard we expect.
“There are times when we choose to sell the properties as they are no longer suitable, and the funds raised allow us to invest in maintenance and building more homes.”