UNEMPLOYED workers will not be offered homes under a new council ‘re-generation’ scheme, sparking outrage and allegations that the move stinks of ‘social cleansing’.
Hastings council stated that it wants a ‘better balance’ of home owners, private tenants and social housing tenants.
The council has joined with housing group Amicus Horizon to renovate 51 homes in St Leonards, to be offered exclusively to people who have jobs.
Prof Phil Hubbard, ‘regeneration expert’ at the University of Kent, said people would be ‘displaced by attempts to encourage property investors’.
Hubbard said: ‘Just look at somewhere like Whitstable on the north Kent coast. Only 10 or 20 years ago it was a very different place and has become gentrified quite quickly.
‘These processes could take hold very quickly with the promise of a high-speed train link from Hastings to London, perhaps within five years.’
Betiel Mehari is part of a Guinness Trust group fighting evictions on Loughborough Park Estate in Brixton.
She told News Line: ‘Because of the housing crisis they try to do a lot of things these days.
‘What they are doing in Hastings is social cleansing.
‘In our case they are trying to force people out of London or into temporary accommodation.
‘The underlining reason is that there is not enough council housing in the first place, we should build more social housing and more council housing.
‘There is definitely an agenda to drive working class people out of London. On my estate, they are evicting me, I have a possession order, they have served me notice and now I have to appear in court. This is the gentrification of an area.
‘They made us live with an insecure tenancy for ten years. On our estate 44 flats are threatened with eviction and we are going to fight it all the way. In 2011 they evicted 53 flats.’
Meanwhile Birmingham Library has almost halved its opening hours and is to half its staff with 90 staff facing the sack because of savage cuts.
Birmingham’s new award winning £189m library, which opened in September 2013, will now be open only 40 hours a week, cut down from 73 hours.
Plans to make redundant 100 of the 188 library staff are still being discussed, but the council expects at least 90 people will lose their jobs.
Council tax will also increase by 1.99% across the city in 2015/16.
The newly built library won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) national award and RIBA West Midlands award for outstanding architecture.