22/06/2017 Luxury Housing Developments and Homelessness in East London: Who’s Benefiting from the 2012 Olympic Games Housing Legacy?


This paper provides a critical assessment of the London 2012 Olympic Games’ housing legacy with reference to three overlapping trends: firstly welfare restructuring under conditions of ‘austerity urbanism’ (Peck, 2012), secondly the political economy of new housing provision, and thirdly the ongoing expulsion of homeless families away from their East London boroughs. The paper draws upon several research projects focusing on housing and homelessness in the Olympics ‘Host Boroughs’ which the author has undertaken from 2010-17, alongside housing activism. The paper argues that East London Labour councils – such as Newham and Waltham Forest – have pursued neoliberal local state strategies predicated on urban competitiveness, extensive private housing market development and minimal social rental housing provision. The impacts of this strategy can be seen in intensive capital inflows into new luxury housing, alongside outflows of low-income, homeless families and individuals away from their neighbourhoods and even beyond the city limits into South East England. The spatial legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games is therefore located in the city’s peripheral hinterlands as much as it is in the rapidly gentrifying East London landscape.

Please find the full-text paper on sciencedirect.com.




Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 6:30pm, HCU, Café
Dr Paul Watt, Reader in Urban Studies, Department of Geography, Birkbeck, University of London