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Haringey Council has voted to scrap the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV), a public-private partnership, in development since 2015, that entailed the construction of 6,400 homes and represented over GBP2 billion (US$2.6 billion) investment. Haringey is a borough of London, located in the north of the city.
The council awarded the PPP to Lendlease in March 2017. However it was strongly opposed by politicians and members of the public, with the StopHDV campaign being launched almost as soon as the project was announced. A key reason for this was the planned demolition of two existing housing estates.
The opposition prompted many of the councillors that supported the project to resign before local elections in May, including the leader of the council, as members of the public organised to vote them out. The councillors elected in May made manifesto promises to halt the progress of the project and have since reaffirmed their intention to keep new housing developments publicly owned.
The decision to scrap the HDV was made in conjunction with the setting up of a wholly council-owned housing company, which will deliver new-build council-owned homes, with a particular focus on providing homes for the more than 9,000 families on the council’s housing register, including 3,000 homeless households in temporary accommodation.
This is a clear shift from the HDV, which was only set to deliver around 2,500 affordable homes (affordable for the median household income of the local community).
Although, the council has disclosed that it now owes Lendlease GBP520,275 (~US$680,000) for pulling out and is at risk of the company taking legal action. Both parties have spent considerable amounts on the scheme in the past four years - GBP2.45 million (US$3.19 million) and GBP4 million (US$5.21 million), respectively.
Lack of affordable housing and resident consultation has become a key sticking point in the development of similar housing regeneration projects in London, with many private investors facing organised opposition.
However, due to the Bristish government's policy of austerity, local governments face near-constant budget cuts - the budget of Haringey Council has been cut by over 40% since 2010 - meaning that funding large-scale housing projects without private investment is getting more and more difficult.