STOP THE DEMOLITION of Sutton Estate
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William Sutton left his fortune to build the historic Sutton Dwellings in Chelsea, to house families on low incomes suffering from poor living standards. Many of the Sutton Estate's first residents were women on low income jobs. Over 2,000 people found a place there that could be called home .
But as on other estates in London, we’re being threatened with eviction because Affinity Sutton, the housing association that now owns the estate, knows that it can make a fortune at the expense of the residents. First it let the estate dilapidate, and now it’s planning to rebuild rather than refurbish, selling off almost half of the estate for multimillion-pound private homes, which could make it a profit of over £200 million.
Affinity Sutton paid nothing for the estate, they have done nothing for the estate, and now they want to cash in on the estate.
At a time when London and the local council is desperately short of social housing, officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea have been working with Affinity Sutton on plans that will reduce social housing places on the estate by 453 people.
What is happening here in Kensington & Chelsea is the tip of the iceberg of a housing crisis in London - where the rich are pushing out the poor, with councils sitting by and doing nothing.
Up to 70 families who had been placed by Kensington & Chelsea on the Sutton Estate, with a measure of stability for them and their children, are now threatened with being thrown out of their homes, and some of them out of London.
We need to come together and stop the most vulnerable in society being victimised by powerful housing associations. If we keep pushing back - like we did with the recently publicised New Era housing and Focus E15 campaigns - there will come a point when property companies and councils realise that the British public are too powerful for them even to attempt these scandalous evictions.
So far we have had the support of people from across the spectrum, including many local people from Chelsea, Eddie Izzard, John Simpson, Felicity Kendal and MP Tom Watson.
Please join us too - and call on Keith Exford, the CEO of Affinity Sutton (salary from the charity in excess of £290,000) and the Council of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to stop the social cleansing and come up with a plan that will benefit the residents rather than their funds and that will increase the number of social housing places in the borough.
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