London Housing Activist’s Fight for Fair Homes Continues Despite Relocating

3 min read

Aysen Dennis, a fighter for fair London housing, hasn’t thrown in the towel, even after leaving her home. She stood up against Southwark council and developers, slamming their plan to turn her estate into mostly posh homes, calling it “social cleansing.” Now, she’s in court, still battling over the Aylesbury estate makeover.

Bowing Out from Her Home

After spending 30 years in her South London council flat, Aysen’s place is set to be demolished. Despite her vocal opposition, she eventually moved out. But that hasn’t silenced her. She’s rolling up her sleeves for a legal showdown, challenging the council and Notting Hill Genesis, the housing group, about changes in the estate’s redevelopment plans.

Persistence is Key

She firmly believes in stopping councils and developers from making life tough for council tenants in central London.

The Legal Bout

Her fight zooms in on the estate’s second makeover phase, raising eyebrows for cutting down social-rented homes for more shared ownership and private pads. She’s questioning the council’s changes to the original plan, making it smoother to green-light new projects.

A Political Move

Aysen sees this as a political game, aiming to push working-class council tenants out of central areas.

Her Take

She’s convinced that council tenants are treated like they’re disposable. The proposed changes could erase the victories residents fought for, like capping building heights at 20 storeys for more sunlight, now replaced by a towering 25-storey private tower.

Settling into a New Place

She’s now in a block that Southwark bought for a staggering £193 million in 2020. Aysen argues that money could’ve gone into revamping their estate instead.

Her new digs hold a lot of memories and a bold red flag that reads: “Social housing, not social cleansing.” She’s not a fan of the trendy cafes popping up, feeling like the original Aylesbury estate community has been scattered.

Pushing for Fairness

Her legal team is fighting for accountability in huge developments like this, making sure residents have a say amidst the negative impact of gentrification.

Aysen came to the UK from Turkey in 1993, escaping political trouble due to her socialist views. She cherished three decades of memories in her estate home, including the loss of her sister five years ago.

The Emotional Move

Leaving her home was tough. Packing up was an all-day tear-jerker, saying goodbye to a place filled with so many memories.

Council and Developer’s Side

Notting Hill Genesis defends its plan, aiming to offer affordable homes and create a lively community. Southwark council boasts about having more new council homes than any other local authority in the UK.

Keepin’ the Fight Alive

Despite leaving her home, Aysen’s keeping the fire burning. She’s fighting for a fair shake in housing, making sure her voice is heard in the ongoing battle for housing rights in London.

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