The St Clements hospital site, on the south of Bow road, near the British estate Tescos, has been empty for some time. In the past it has been a workhouse, a hospital, and most recently, the site for NHS mental health services. It was built by public subscription, and the buildings and the land have always been used in public service, one way or another.
When the NHS moved off the site the ownership reverted back to government, and now sits with the Homes and Communities Agency. Under Labour, HCA grants were the means through its social housing was built – now the Tories have cut their funding and are seeking to impose 80% market rents for new social tenancies, the HCA is a very different body.
The East London Community Land trust, born out of London Citizens, is seeking to take on the site, create a form of collective ownership and responsibility and build social housing and business units which are badly needed.
It really matters that this resource continues to be used for the public good. We don’t need more private flats with token social housing bolt ons – we need the St Clements building and space to go back to being an integral part of our neighbourhood. ELCT are the only means we have to achieving that, and I am supporting them.
If you’re from east London, please do sign up on the link below to become a member. We can’t allow the HCA to just sell off this resource to the highest bidder, and if the ELCT is successful, the people of east London and especially Mile End East need to be members so we can shape its future.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad