The lack of affordable housing in London is a widely recognised problem – not enough new homes are being built to meet growing need. According to the London Housing Commission, London needs at least 50,000 new homes each year (in 2015 around 25,000 new homes were built). The shortage of housing is leading to ever rising house prices and rents, as well as rising levels of homelessness and overcrowding.
St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust (StART) is a Community Land Trust seeking to address the local need for affordable housing in Haringey. They want to create a community-led housing development which meets the needs of people, not profit.
Two-thirds of the St Ann’s Hospital site in Haringey is due to be sold for private housing development, with only 14% of the homes classed as “affordable”. Current proposals take no account of the needs of local people at a time of severe housing need.
With the potential to build over 500 homes on the site, StART believe that this valuable public asset should be used to benefit the whole community. Based on the views of the community, they want to provide a far higher level of truly affordable, secure, good quality housing. They also want to conserve and enhance public green space, and ensure the health needs of local residents are integrated into the fabric of the redevelopment.
The excellent news is that thanks to nearly 500 backers, StART have successfully raised the money they need to pay for architectural plans for the development. These plans will enable them to cost the project and put together a bid for the site.
Anna Darnell Bradley, a member of the StART team, believes that at a time of such severe housing need across the country, community-led initiatives have the potential to be very impactful.
“StART is a project that is led by the community, for the community and we hope that the success of our campaign can help to inspire and encourage others.”
For further information about the project click here.