Aside from Wimbledon, this week has been mainly about money. How much we haven’t got, how much less you’ll get if you dare to lose your job and how much George ‘posh burger’ Osborne has.
I live in Walthamstow, East London. For those of you who don’t know, it’s considered to be an *affordable part of town and recently there’s been a lot of Press about it being ‘up-and-coming’.
I like Walthamstow. There’s a lively, creative community, lots of good pubs, nice parks and the William Morris Gallery, which has just been crowned Museum of the Year. The area is in a process of ‘regeneration’, which means yes, lots of things are being built, including a cinema, but equally, lots of things are being threatened with closure. This includes the site for the amazing neon artist’s studio God’s Own Junkyard (godsownjunkyard.co.uk), which has been earmarked for flats. Basically, it’s in a state of flux and whereas this can be exciting, the changing landscape is unnerving many of its residents.
So, all this ‘up-and-coming’ malarkey comes at a price. This week, Time Out carried a piece of editorial about E17. “We have to let your secret out” it trumpets. The secret? Why – “the absurdly cheap rents”. Now, anyone who doesn’t live within an hour’s commute of London, sit down before you read on. By absurdly cheap, (and this is going by the figures on Rightmove today), this can mean up to £1,191 pcm for a one-bed flat, £1,500 pcm for a two-bed flat and £2,167 for a three-bed family home.
Absurd? Yes, but absurdly cheap? I don’t think so.
I could go on – about locals being priced out; about unscrupulous landlords; about the housing crisis; about London versus the rest of the country. But I won’t. I’ll leave it there.
*affordable to Londoners and millionaires
PS: I’m on holiday for a week or so. I’ll be back a year older but maybe no wiser, in the second week of July.