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Regeneration in Tottenham: 'It's not about moving people out'
A councillor rejected claims that he is “gentrifying” Tottenham when he faced campaigners at a council meeting.
Speaking at a Haringey Borough Council's cabinet meeting, Councillor Alan Strickland said the authority's regeneration schemes are “not about moving people out”.
The cabinet member for regeneration and housing added that building affordable housing in London is “incredibly difficult”.
Cllr Strickland was responding to a deputation from Our Tottenham, a group representing more than 45 businesses, early in the meeting.
A spokesman for Our Tottenham said the council’s various housing policies amounted to “profit-led mega-development and gentrification, in which large numbers of people will be priced out of their homes”.
Cllr Strickland replied that the council did not want to displace existing residents, and wanted "genuinely mixed communities".
The Labour politician also answered questions on housing from Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Sarah Elliott.
He said: “With regards to council estates, we’ve said again and again and again that our priorities are to support existing residents and improve existing homes. It’s not about moving people out.”
He added that the council were piloting shared ownership schemes “to get people on the housing ladder”.
Later in the meeting, Cllr Strickland said the 40 per cent affordable housing figure earmarked for the Apex House development was “really high” by London standards.
He said: “It’s incredibly difficult, in London, to get high levels of affordable housing, and councils struggle with this so 40 per cent is actually really high. Some places in Tottenham have ten per cent or 20 per cent.
“The council has taken a hit in our land value to make sure that it’s got up to 40 per cent.”