Vulnerable people banned from KX N1C – can it be true?

In a shocking article carried by today’s The Independent newspaper it appears that LB Camden has joined with with the property developers of the massive N1C scheme, home to Granary Square and the new University of the Arts building, to exclude or severely limit numbers of certain categories of people from accessing the 500 units of social housing being built as part of the scheme.

 The excluded or limited categories are:

  • People with mental health issues
  • Homeless people
  • Families with children
  • People with a history of drug abuse
  • People in rent arrears

Says The Independent:

“Social housing construction was a condition for Camden Council granting planning permission for the £2bn development in 2006. Argent, the property company leading the consortium, says it will bring major community benefits to the area, which has been given its own postcode – N1C.

“A total of 1,700 residential homes will be built, the majority of which will be sold privately. In addition to 500 social housing units and 250 “intermediate affordable homes”, 950 units will be sold privately.”

The exclusions and quotas were revealed after a series of Freedom of Information Act (FOI) questions were asked. On this site we tend feel FOI answers are a harder currency than comments made by those whose job requires them to hold a particular line because of political persuasion or profession. Because of these hard answers I for one am in shock this morning and left feeling physically sick at the thought of living next door to what may turn out to be a massive experiment in social engineering.

However, it would be great to hear from members at LB Camden and from the developers at N1C. Is this story correct? If so why? If not how will you be challenging it? Please get in touch. We’d love to carry a high profile correction article…

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. http://www.cookiewp.com She also manages King's Cross Community Projects http://www.kccp.org.uk
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4 Responses to Vulnerable people banned from KX N1C – can it be true?

  1. Having read Cllr Fulbrook’s statement at the above link, I feel the issue is more complex than the simple term of ‘people with mental health problems’. Most people will experience some form of mental illness during their lives – that is fact, and just like many areas of the body can be in distress, for example, a broken leg or a virus or disease, and these require different types/levels of care, so too the different types of metal illness.
    Unfortunately, most application forms for social housing etc are not able to fully take account of different levels of mental stress as opposed to physical needs. This means that a ‘yes’ at that stage will therefore prevent that individual from going further with the process if the quota set by Camden has been fulfilled. That cannot be right.
    Many people who suffer clinical depression and anxiety, for example, are not afforded a better or ‘supported’ home, but must remain where they may have been living for many years. I do not believe therefore that the policy is comprehensive enough – or that it has not been informative enough so as to cause the beliefs now felt by many about the development at N1C.
    I assume consultation will be undertaken with local GP surgeries who treat those individuals who might be applying and that charities, such as MIND, will be a part of the process of assessment?
    It is important to consider those with mental health issues just as one would with any other human condition – temporary or otherwise. These are the people amongst us everyday and they are not to be lumped in with anti-socials and druggies.

  2. sean murray says:

    Indeed Zannthie. If Camden and KXC have grouped together all those who would tick yes to ‘mental health problems’ then the level of understanding is at best ill informed and at worst highly damaging. Anyone who suffers from the more common depressive or anxiety related illnesses should not have to lie about their condition or be excluded from living anywhere. If Camden and KXC’s intention is to manage the number of people who have acute problems (and who need the appropriate help and support) then that’s a different story. I trust that KXC will confirm that anyone ticking the ‘mental health issue’ box would not automatically be excluded if any ‘quotas’ are reached. Sean (KX resident and fund raiser for the mental health foundation)

  3. Lorraine says:

    This is horrifying, surely one of the main purposes of social housing is to provide for these very social groups as they are already excluded in many ways!

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