Games [2012] Revisited

Photographs taken on the same piece of film over 2 years (2010-2012) of contrasting images depicting rapid urban development against the backdrop of the Carpenters Estate, Stratford.

Many homes sit empty on the estate despite reports of 1 in 4 Newham residents being on the Council's housing waiting list. Get the data HERE.

In September 2014 the Focus E15 campaign group occupied housing on the Carpenters Estate to highlight the housing crisis and call for housing solutions that are affordable.

Slogans taken from developer billboards in East London (2010-2014) and protest banners from the Focus E15 Campaign (2014).

"Social Housing Not Social Cleansing"

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The shortage of housing in the capital has produced a crisis in both the private and social sector, leading to an ever-increasing price bubble of speculation. Lack of investment in social housing for over 25 years, a growing population and changing demographic have all contributed to the increased demand for decent housing for all not just the wealthy. Promises of 'affordable housing' are unrealistically priced at 80% of the market value of the property which is unattainable for many people who have lived and worked in the capital all their lives.

As the land surrounding the Olympic site increases in value, Newham council are seemingly reluctant to commit to investing in the existing social housing, pursuing a policy of slowly de-populating the estate over the last 8 years, re-locating tenants further out of the capital. Many of the properties now lie empty, whilst the council waits to sell the land to the highest bidder.

In September 2014 Focus E15  – originally a group of single mothers politicised by their eviction from a shelter in Stratford, took their campaign to the streets and to the doors of Newham council. Through a series of occupations and protests the campaign highlighted the housing crisis and suffering caused by placing profit before people. The group occupied the boarded up homes at 80-86 Doran Walk on the Carpenters Estate in September 2014 to show just how habitable the homes still were.

In October 2014 the group peaceably left the property, the campaign a massive success, widely reported in the media and striking a chord with many supporters. In the face of a housing waiting list which currently stands at 24,000 how can the local authorities justify leaving homes empty on the Carpenters Estate?

Focus E15 continues to campaign and raise awareness, supporting those who face eviction and challenging the local authorities:

A 'FANTASTIC NEW COMMUNITY FOR EAST LONDON', was proclaimed from the blue hoardings surrounding the Stratford site in 2012 and it is 2 years on that we start to see the effects on the existing community.

What type of community are we building and for whom?  'Social Housing, Not Social Cleansing' Focus E15 2014.

Get the Data Here