Firstly apologies to all our followers for the rather long hiatus we’ve taken from the blog. We’ve been somewhat busy this year: some of our activists have found new jobs, some have focussed on other urgent local campaigns while others were sadly socially cleansed from the borough due to the on-going regeneration projects making truly affordable accommodation as rare as hen’s teeth. If you consider that the Local Housing Allowance (the housing benefit rates) are set at the thirtieth percentile of the current average market rate in the private rental sector you’ll get a good idea over the overall picture in the borough. This means that a one bedroom property in South Brent, which covers Dollis Hill, Willesden Green, Old Oak plus sections of Brondesbury and Kilburn could potentially cost over £781.92 per week… A BHA member working in the homeless sector has reported viewing rooms in Harlesden which are fitted with a hotplate, a sink and a bed and are going for £260 a week. The room had little natural light and the communal shower – shared between eight ground floor flats had a 20p coin meter.
As of next Wednesday the situation is liable to become far worse with the reduction of the benefit cap and the proposed changes to Social Housing rents. So if there’s still popular interest in keeping the group going, drop us a line and we’ll set up a public meeting and hopefully some regular dates. We look forward to hearing from you!
In the meantime here are some forthcoming dates that might interest you:
Monday 6th July, 6pm: Harlesden Neighbourhood Forum Special Meeting (including an update on the Park Royal-Old Oak Mayoral Development Corporation). Tavistock Hall, Harlesden Methodist Church, 25 Harlesden High Street, NW10 4NE
Wednesday 8th July, 6pm: Kilburn Neighbourhood Forum Plan. The Betsy Smith, 77 Kilburn High Road, NW6 6HY
Wednesday 8th July, 2pm and the seven consecutive Wednesdays: South Kilburn Ward Working Pop-Up Advice Surgery (click on the flyer below for details of each weekly session), Kilburn Salvation Army Church Hall, 55 Chichester Road, NW6 5QW
Tuesday 14th July, 7pm: Brent Council Scrutiny Committee, Boardroom – Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0FJ. The agenda has yet to be revealed on the website, but it is rumoured to include a section on the South Kilburn Estate regeneration.