London tenants protest, fear they will lose homes

AP News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2014 11:19 AM
London tenants protest, fear they will lose homes

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of tenants of a London housing project have marched to the prime minister's office amid fears they would be forced from their homes after the development was bought by a U.S.-based investor — the latest tensions in the city's booming real estate market.

Residents of the New Era project in east London, originally built as affordable housing for workers, demanded that U.K. leaders prevent Westbrook Partners from raising rents to market levels. Comedian Russell Brand has championed their cause.

"It's social cleansing," said resident Lindsey Garrett. "It's forcing ordinary, working-class people out of London."

Westbrook said in a statement Monday that "there will be no changes to their residential leases and no increases in rents during the first half of 2015," and that it will address residents' concerns.