Residents of the New Era estate in Hoxton could have a victory on their hands after the Guardian reported the estate may be sold to an affordable housing provider.
US asset management firm Westbrook Partners bought the estate in March 2014, but faced fierce opposition after revoking an agreement not to increase rents to market rates and evict families who couldn't pay.
The highly public campaign against rent increases, supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson and comedian Russell Brand, has become symbolic of the iniquitous nature of the capital's housing situation and now appears to have forced Westbrook to back down.
Hackney council wrote to Westbrook to warn the company to treat residents with 'respect and consideration' when it became clear that the company hadn't appeared to have given much thought to the residents or local issues with housing. The residents' campaign led to a march to Downing Street armed with a petition holding more than 300,000 names.
City Hall has said it expects the sale to be complete before Christmas. The Guardian's report suggests future rent increases could be on the cards but the new owner has offered guarantees over rents until the end of 2015. Labour London Assembly member Tom Copley questioned Boris Johnson in Mayor's Question Time this week over the fate of the estate. Boris Johnson has said:
“We are very sure that there is a favourable and a fair outcome for the tenants who, I agree, had the shock of seeing their rents potentially go up, and what I want to achieve is the sale of that estate to a social landlord.”
Photo by Chris Dorley-Brown in the Londonist Flickr pool.