This is the start of gentrification in Tilbury…

Phase One of the housing development on St. Chads Road in Tilbury that’s being built by the Thurrock Council owned Gloriana Thurrock Ltd. is almost complete and will be handed over in April. Properties for rent on this development are already being advertised on Right Move – http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-58379245.html Have a look at what they want for the monthly rent and you’ll see why we think the gentrification of Tilbury is underway!

The ‘affordable’ housing component of this development is just 20% of the total number of homes being being built – these are restricted to two bedroom properties only. These will not be available until the completion of Phase Two which is due to happen this coming summer. The homes will be allocated through the council’s housing register.

The three bedroom properties are being advertised by Right Move at £1,124 per calendar month (£259 per week). For a couple with children to be able to afford the rent on a property like this, they would need to be earning around £35,000 a year. That pretty much puts these properties beyond the reach of most people living in Tilbury.

So with rents at this level, Gloriana Thurrock Ltd. which was supposedly set up by the council towards the end of 2013 by the then Labour administration with the aim of building homes on land that commercial developers supposedly wouldn’t touch, is turning into yet another commercial property developer! Sure, Thurrock Council officers (and some councillors) will try and justify this as a necessary revenue generating initiative to offset the drastic cuts in money from central government. The point is that Gloriana Thurrock Ltd. are doing little or nothing to ease pressure on the housing waiting list as they build homes for people from outside the borough.

Given that the St.Chads developments is within reasonable walking distance of the station, it wouldn’t be surprising if a lot of people moving there are commuters who have been priced out of London. The same thing is happening in Basildon with the Tory leader of Basildon Council, Cllr. Phil Turner practically rolling out the red carpet to welcome an influx of potential Tory voters into the town! This is just another manifestation of The housing domino effecthttps://southessexstirrer.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/the-housing-domino-effect/ that’s a consequence of the project of making London a welcome home for the global super rich.

This is what you get when housing is regarded as yet another financial asset to be brought and sold for profit rather than as a basic human need that has to be met. We now have a situation where housing provision is being used as a means of social engineering and social control. Young, productive and relatively well paid commuters are being made welcome. Low earners are expected to struggle as best they can in cramped, precarious accommodation – if their labour is no longer required, they’re deemed to be expendable and they’ll find there is no place for them anywhere along the estuary. If for whatever reason you’re disabled and on the housing waiting list, expect to be moved right out of the area to a decaying seaside town further up the east coast.

Things will only change once people start to realise that the system we have is screwing more and more of us over and is ultimately unsustainable. A political, social and economic order that is failing to meet the housing needs of an ever growing proportion of the population can only stagger on so far before something gives. Only when that happens will we have the chance to install a system that meets our needs as people instead of one that merely sees us as production units to be discarded when we are no longer of any use.

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