The two ends of the housing world can be illustrated well over this Christmas break at Paddington Green. While Crisis at Christmas are putting up 250 rough sleepers at City of Westminster College site over the Christmas break, we have a new launch of properties on an adjoining site of Westmark Tower on “West End Gate” at prices the vast majority of local residents will certainly not be able to afford.
Crisis at Christmas will be accommodating up to 250 rough sleepers till the 30th of December in Paddington Green giving them health services like dental and foot care; benefits assistance on top of a bed and food and of course social support. Plenty of the street homeless along the Edgware Rd have made their way to Crisis point of help and assistance.
All this whilst the “West End Gate” developers undertake a new launch of properties in Westmark Tower at prices the vast majority of local residents will certainly not be able to afford where property prices begin at £935,000 for a one bed flat! And do not forget the hefty annual service charges as well
It’s all a bit like a posh restaurant where the locals can look in but are priced out of eating as the hefty prices keep them well and truly out in the cold!. So it is with this contrast in developments in Paddington Green. It is two different housing worlds which is not helped as the social housing is cut by nearly half to boost developers’ profits in “West End Gate”. The 200 flat addition to the development should have had 70 ‘affordable’ flats according to Westminster Council’s own rules but the development was waved through with a design with only 32 affordable flats, so depriving local people of 38 new homes. Westminster Council should at least adopt the Mayor of London’s guidance for developments to have at least 35 per cent of genuinely affordable housing.
What is strange is how both different housing ends of the housing spectrum and rubbing shoulder to shoulder during this festive break at Paddington Green. At least one is in the christian tradition of the festive break and l will not have to tell you which one!