CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Prison site needs affordable homes

23 July, 2021

The Holloway Prison site

• I KNOW the Holloway Prison site development is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build hundreds of genuinely affordable homes in our borough, as well as providing a new public park and a women’s building that will act as a real legacy of the history of the prison.

I am proud that when Peabody, the housing association developing the site, tried to row back on their social rent homes commitment, our community came together to launch a campaign and fight for the promises to be kept.

We have now secured 42 per cent social rent homes on the site which will make a huge difference to the thousands of people in our borough either homeless or currently living in overcrowded homes.

However, while this is a success, Peabody originally committed to 60 per cent genuinely affordable homes on the site and their plans to market the other 18 per cent of genuinely affordable homes as shared ownership is not good enough.

Most people do not have the savings to pay for a deposit on a shared ownership home or pay the rent and mortgage together. Peabody should, instead, be looking at London Living Rent homes on the site.

While not as good as social rents, this would mean rents set at one-third of the median salary in the ward and would be much more affordable for local people and accessible for key workers who live in our borough.

Holloway is an exciting opportunity for our borough but we must make sure it is developed with the best interests of our community at heart, and that includes genuinely affordable homes for local people.

CLLR GULCIN OZDEMIR
Labour, St George’s ward

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