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Furious protestors accuse Boris Johnson of fuelling housing crisis

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Furious protestors accuse Boris Johnson of fuelling housing crisis

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Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development, Local Government

Manifesto for Londoners 'to pave way for significant savings' Manifesto for Londoners 'to pave way for significant savings'

Housing groups and residents from across London are set to demonstrate outside City Hall to vent their fury at mayor Boris Johnson's plans to attend the world's biggest property fair - a move protestors claim will fuel the capital's housing crisis.

The mayor, who along with representatives from over 20 UK councils will participate in the MIPIM conference in Cannes, France next week, will be told that "London is not for sale" when the protestors converge as part of Europe-wide demonstrations.

Protestors claim that Johnson and councillors will be meeting potential business partners in Cannes for the selling of public land and to approve regeneration plans for hotels, offices, luxury housing and shopping centres in UK cities.

Nic Lane, from 'Brent Housing Action', said: “We, the people who have been affected by deals made at MIPIM by our 'representatives' knew nothing of these deals until it was too late. Residents all over London are being forced out of their communities because of rising rents, and the building of unaffordable 'affordable' housing schemes to replace council housing.”

The MIPIM fair has an entry fee of €1,600 per person and brings together 20,000 investors, developers, local authorities, and banks.

One of those who will be speaking at the event is the former Manchester United player Gary Neville, who will be outlining his plans his 'Hotel Football' - a luxury development that is due to open opposite the Old Trafford football stadium this autumn.

At the City Hall protest next Thursday, Londoners will speak about the difficulties they have faced in finding affordable and secure housing in the UK.

Three reports about the "disastrous impacts of corporate housing developers benefitting from lucrative public contracts" will also be unveiled.

Liliana Dmitrovic, of 'People's Republic of Southwark', said: “We are coming to City Hall to show that our land, our cities, and our homes, will not be sold by politicians to line the pockets of developers. These are the individuals responsible for the housing crisis, and we believe that everyone deserves a decent home.”

A spokesperson for the mayor said: "London, together with other major cities around the UK and across Europe, will be represented at MIPIM to attract vital investment to build the infrastructure, offices and homes necessary to continue to create jobs and support the capital's economic growth post-recession. The mayor is attending MIPIM to directly lobby key investors and developers to help double housebuilding, including more affordable homes, and fund major regeneration projects around the capital."

The spokesperson added that the mayor was "doing everything in his power to boost housing supply" and had secured "an extra £1.25 billion to expand his programme to build 100,000 low cost homes".

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