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Mayor's view: Carpenters Estate - a different approach

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 October 2018

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Picture: NEWHAM COUNCIL

Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz. Picture: NEWHAM COUNCIL

Rokhsana Fiaz

I recently went to see Legacy, a play which explores the impact of the Olympic legacy on communities, focusing on the lives of residents on Stratford's Carpenters Estate.

Proposals for the estate have appeared in many different forms over many years and I’m very aware of the turmoil this has caused residents living there.

Since becoming mayor I’ve paid several visits to the estate to meet the residents and to understand some of the issues they have experienced. I have listened to their concerns and anxieties. They feel they have not been listened to for many years and they’ve lost confidence and trust in the council.

I am committed to restoring that trust and helping them understand that these are not one-off listening exercises.

The current procurement process is on hold and a decision is expected later this year. Until then though, I intend to enter into meaningful and honest conversations with the community to understand what they want to see happen to their estate. I have promised that they will play a significant role in its redevelopment.

I want to discuss the options with them, working towards producing a properly resident-led masterplan. My intention is that this masterplan will include the largest proportion of social rent homes that is possible, aiming for a minimum of 50 per cent.

We cannot ignore the opportunity the estate presents to increase the number of homes in the borough.

Newham has a significant housing crisis so delivering housing at social rent is my priority. The lack of decent, affordable homes affects so many of our residents. We have more than 26,000 households currently on our waiting list, 5,000 families in temporary accommodation and since 2012, rough sleeping in Newham has increased 219pc.

The current situation is untenable and urgent change is required. However, it is important that we get this right. This means making sure we listen to residents and explore every option. Working closely with residents and our partners including the Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan), I am very hopeful about the future of the estate and building a better neighbourhood that works for everyone.

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