Visit www.estatewatch.london to explore the map in full.
This despite the Mayor of London’s Estate Regeneration Guidance (2018), which was supposed to give council tenants and leaseholders a better deal.
We have produced this website to provide tenants and residents with independent facts and resources about the realities of demolition and possible alternatives.
Since 2018, councils and housing associations seeking Mayoral funding for large housing schemes involving demolition of existing homes must obtain majority resident support through a ballot. Since then 44 such schemes across London have been exempted and the Mayor appears to be overlooking landlords conducting ballots on terms that go against his guidance.
We spoke to Luise, a leaseholder on Camden’s West Kentish Town estate which voted in favour of demolition earlier this year, who described seeing council officers visiting residents in their homes while the ballot was taking place to ‘help’ them fill in the form.
“They were upfront that they were pushing for it to be knocked down,” said Luise. “There was nothing impartial about the consultation. They’ve been deliberately and continuously neglecting the estate. We were basically told that if we voted against demolition the estate would be run down even further.”
According to the Mayor’s Guidance, “when considering the option of demolishing and rebuilding homes, councils, housing associations and their partners should always consider alternative options to demolition first”.
Tenants must be fully informed and have meaningful choices before we get to a ballot. We’ve established Estate Watch in part because of concerns that that is not happening.
The new website provides tenants with key facts, tools and case studies to fight their corner and to try to engage on more equal terms in discussion about the future of their homes and communities.
This includes research by academics at University of Leicester (UOL) and Kings College London (KCL) showing that long term uncertainty, depression and displacement were common experiences among both tenants and leaseholders undergoing demolition.
“Just Space and LTF have set up Estate Watch because the realities of ‘regeneration’ for resident communities are very different to what’s depicted on council websites and brochures,” said Loretta Lees, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Leicester.
“It comes on the back of my 3-year ESRC research project into gentrification and displacement of council estate tenants and residents. My research identified that 55,000 council homes had been demolished in estate renewal schemes since 1997 and as a rough estimate, about 131,000 tenants and leaseholders were displaced.”
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#EstateWatch Share your experience of regeneration
To mark the launch of the website, we are encouraging tenants and leaseholders who are going through or have been through demolition to share their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #EstateWatch
How has your life been affected?
Did you feel listened to?
Were you offered a meaningful alternative to demolition?
Wednesday 24th June @ 10am #ESTATEWATCH Q&A WITH LORETTA LEES
From 10am to 11am next Wednesday, we’ll be hosting a live Twitter Q&A session with Loretta Lees, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Leicester and lead researcher on regeneration and gentrification. Please join us then using the hashtag #EstateWatch @LorettaCLees and @londontenants or @justspace7
Not on Twitter but got a question for Loretta? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your question beforehand and we will put it to her on your behalf.
How you can help
It’s rare for councils and housing associations to provide their residents with the full facts about demolition, so it’s important that we share that information ourselves.
Do you live on or near a social housing estate threatened with demolition or know someone who does? Please share a link to the website on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #EstateWatch.
Have we missed something? Estate Watch is an ongoing project with limited resources. Please help us keep the website up to date by emailing email@example.com with updates or corrections if you spot a gap.