New occupation and community-led refurbishment will highlight that ‘regeneration’ doesn’t need to be another word for ‘social cleansing.’ Come down now and help make it happen!
Good morning London! As most of you started your work days today, dozens of us began to repair the damage inflicted by Annington Properties to one of their buildings – one of our homes – on the Sweets Way Estate.
Today we start work on the ‘People’s Regeneration Show Home’ at 153 Sweets Way (N20 0NX). Over the next 72 hours we will demonstrate that a group of committed and skilled volunteers, with (almost) no money between us, can turn a smashed-up shell of a building, into a lovely family home. And all without the ‘help’ of either the council or private developers.
Can you come down and help us make it happen? Families are welcome!
Shortly after the bulk of the evictions began on Sweets Way, Annington sent in contractors to make the houses unliveable while they prepared to demolish them and build luxury flats in their place. Rather than letting us stay in these homes and avoiding the inhumane evictions they put so many of us through, they paid workers to break windows, strip piping, knock holes in the roofs and smash up the porcelain of dozens and dozens of otherwise-liveable family homes.
This is what some of them looked like!
This morning we started the process of putting one of those homes back together to shine a light on the regeneration racket. Across London, councils and developers work hand-in-glove to argue that it is impossible to maintain – or to build new homes – that people can truly afford to live in. Sometimes they blame austerity, sometimes they blame the conditions of the buildings or unseen market forces, but the result is always the same: private development is the only way forward.
But we’re not having it! Our homes were never in need of a refurb until Annington ripped them apart, and even if they had been, we won’t accept that demolition was ever the only choice. So we’re putting another option on the table: People’s regeneration.
We’re fixing plaster board, replacing flooring, building cabinets, reinstalling plumbing and collecting furniture to make this possible. Can you come join us this weekend?
We’re still a relatively small group, with a very short window of time to make this happen. If you can come get involved, spread the word, contribute some furniture or building supplies, you will help make the case that what we are doing is a viable alternative to the brutal kind of ‘regeneration’ London has come to know!
We hope that this will spread. London has countless homes and whole estates that have been left to get run-down, which a bit of collective action could easily make liveable again.
Regeneration doesn’t have to be a horrendously expensive code word for social cleansing; it can be a collective, sustainable and affordable way for people to come together and improve their homes and their community. We’re just highlighting something communities across London can do wherever they are, to make sure the homes they need are there for those who need them.
So come get involved! Help make it happen on our estate and then take the lessons back to your own! The Councils and developers don’t give a toss about our communities or our homes, so let’s do what is needed to hold on to, create and rebuild the places and spaces that matter to us!
Show up at 153 Sweets Way any time this weekend and get stuck in! We can make this happen!
Get the latest from @SweetsWayN20 / #SWShowHome
Read the press release here.