An advert for luxury housing in Abbey Wood, one of London’s most deprived wards, has provoked anger by boasting that the development contains no social housing, despite regulations that usually require it. The apartments in the nine-storey tower were offered first to investors in Hong Kong - at a preferential rate at an exclusive launch - before being opened to the London market. More than 11,000 families are currently on the waiting list for social housing in Abbey Wood.
Darren Johnson, a Green Party member of the London Assembly, said: “Boasting about the absence of social housing in adverts for new developments shows that housing policy in London is about meeting the needs of wealthy investors, not about the needs of ordinary Londoners. At least this appalling advert is honest about it.”
Signal of change spotted by Joy Green
Efforts to attract wealth by sweeping social problems under the rug could be short-lived. Witness tensions in Paris, where the term 'banlieue' (suburb) has become almost synonymous with troubled communities experiencing high rates of unemployment and crime.
What efforts might we see for luxury accommodation to play a role in the wider socio-economic development of the surrounding community? Could the luxury housing market learn something from this approach, where guests at the Ritz got involved in a local community kitchen?