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Corbyn praises co-ops at special street party

Corbyn joins co-op festivities on Saturday in Finsbury Park street

18 August, 2017 — By Steve Barnett

The Labour leader with Charteris Co-op residents

JEREMY Corbyn praised the role that housing co-operatives play in “protecting communities” on Saturday as he joined revellers for a special street party in Finsbury Park.

The Labour leader was met by painted faces, stalls, music and the smell of a mouth-water- ing barbecue as he walked along Woodfall Road, joining residents at a celebration organised by the Charteris Neighbourhood Tenant Co-operative.

Mr Corbyn said: “This is a lovely event in lots of ways because it’s a community coming together. It is a celebration of the success of Charteris Co-op over all the years, but it’s also, in a nice way, a sense of empowerment of our communities in what we can do together.

“I’ve been around, as you know, in this part of north London for a very long time and in the 1970s there was a massive argument, or debate, going on about housing strategy and housing policy. The then Islington council wanted to demolish all this area and replace it and build an estate.

“The campaign [to save the area] was enormous, essentially arguing that you could rehabilitate Victorian houses very well, you could make them very nice places to live and you could maintain that wonderful sense of community that was here.

“I’m glad to say the plans were rejected and the rehabilitation took place and the communities remained intact. The Charteris Housing Co-op came out of it, and I think housing co-ops are good because they provide efficient, quality housing, they provide that sense of self-management and they provide a sense of communities coming together which are not always the same if there’s a more traditional landlord/ten- ant relationship.

“I see in the future a huge role for housing co-operatives as protecting social housing in inner- city areas.”

Mr Corbyn added: “Otherwise the developers take over, otherwise the high-rises take over, otherwise the expensive housing takes over, otherwise working class families get driven out of the big cities all over this country.”

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