This letter will be sent to The Guardian on Thursday the 9th February with the list of signatories and a request that it be considered for publication on Saturday 12th February.
We write in solidarity with the 1400 council tenants or leaseholders of Haringey Council's Northumberland Park Estate. They are the first to suffer in a plan which which would uproot up to 15,000 Haringey residents and 500 small businesses.The Cabinet of the council is set to approve on the 14th February placing £2 billion in a Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) in a deal with a private developer. The HDV does nothing to improve their dire circumstances or to end the severe housing crisis currently engulfing London. The plan is to tear down their homes with no guarantee of continuing or returning to live in their communities. It is likely that many of them currently in council or social housing will be evicted into the Private Rented Sector where poverty has doubled in the past ten years. A trend that cries out for rent controls.
In ten years time, when the this "regeneration" aims to be completed, the currently chaotic London housing market will still be exploited by national and international speculators to the detriment of most London residents unless the local authorities call a halt rather than jump into bed with them. An alternative is to follow The Mayor of London with his exploration of land value tax. It brings into use unused land and land cannot be put into overseas tax-free banks. It would enable the restoration of 100% council tax benefit and the refurbishment rather than demolition in the interests if the poorest residents. It would give all the residents London Borough of Haringey a share of the increased value of land as a result of Cross Rail.