Posted by: Alex Wellman17/08/2011
Upon seeing the devastation wrought upon England after four days of rioting, and the pillorying of social housing tenants by the mainstream media, you would think that estates across the land were no-go zones.
After being sent to follow the riots from Tottenham to Hackney to Manchester to Salford I can say this is not the case.
Indeed, it was widely reported in certain sections of the media that the Pembury Estate in Hackney was the epicentre of violence in east London with burnt out cars and shattered windows throughout. Not true.
While it is fair to say the streets surrounding the estate were littered with scorched pavements and shattered glass, there was very little, if any, evidence in the estate itself.
This is partly because this is not an issue of housing – social or other – but a shocking greed culture which engulfed people from all parts of the political and social spectrum of England.
The other part of this is down to Peabody’s in-house caretaking team who are clearly appreciated by most on the estate.
There was a similar scene in Salford where the rioting took place in front of but not inside a Salix Homes estate.
Turning to the work contractors will have to undertake in the coming weeks and months as everything gets back to normal, it would appear that save the odd broken window or burnt bin there is not much to do.
However, that may not quite be the case. If there is one thing these riots have shown it is that relations between contractors and tenants can be productive, supportive and long standing.
That is the hardest work of all but surely the most rewarding.
From Can we fix it?
Alex Wellman takes a look at what’s going on in the social housing contracting sector