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Peabody must stick by its promise on affordable housing on prison site

26 June, 2020

Protests at Holloway prison during negotiations over its future

• YOU report that when the Tribune spoke to Peabody they said: “The exact tenure mix would be finalised as the scheme evolves.”, (Holloway prison site plans: women’s centre ‘tucked away in wrong place’, June 19).

As Islington councillors we believe Peabody must not be allowed to backtrack on their promise of 60 per cent “genuinely” affordable housing on the scheme.

Peabody CEO, Brendan Sarsfield, said in Inside Housing in 2019, “We are committed to working with LB Islington and the GLA to deliver an exceptional new housing scheme on this historic site. We are pleased to confirm we will deliver 60 per cent level of genuinely-affordable homes.”

One of the conditions of the £42million loan from Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, to help Peabody buy the site was for Peabody to provide 60 per cent “genuinely” affordable homes on the site – 10 per cent more than the 50 per cent set out in the Town Hall’s planning policy.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, executive member for housing, said: “Peabody must not dilute the percentage of social rent homes, a 50 per cent scheme would require at least 35 per cent social rent homes. Accordingly, a 60 per cent scheme needs at least 42 per cent social rent homes.”

We must insist on “at least” 42 per cent of homes on the site being at social rents. As St George’s ward councillors, we understand the desperate need for social rented homes in the area. We have a massive housing shortage in Islington and an overcrowding problem in the ward.

We encourage everyone to take part in the public consultation (see the Peabody website) and to make the point strongly to them that we need them to stick to at least 42 per cent of the homes built to be provided at social rent.

Labour, St George’s ward


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