By Leslie Carlyle

“Where creativity lives” proclaims the banner on Fitzroy Place, while the developers there brag about having pre-sold the flats on the Middlesex Hospital site (which once employed nearly 1,000 people) for upwards of many millions mainly to investors from abroad.

Meanwhile dozens of NHS hospital workers have had their flats sold from under them by UCLH ‘Charities’ – to another developer bent on selling their homes abroad, to people who will probably not live here and certainly will not make Fitzrovia their main home. 

Housing associations, forgetting their roots in the housing co-op movement and philanthropy, are keeping flats empty while they arrange to sell them on or to charge market rents.

Other long-term residents are being forced to move after their rents have been doubled and even trebled, and local councils do nothing to encourage more social housing in the area.

Perhaps unsurprisingly an increasing number of commercial properties lie empty as landlords aim for delusional rents. Perhaps they dream that all these expensive flats will house high-end consumers – when in fact they are attracting elite investors looking for a place to park their savings.

Local politicians have so far either shrugged their shoulders in acceptance of ‘market forces’ or wrung their hands, not even using their power to influence some of the sorry actors in this play.

Developers and landlords are killing the very thing they’re attempting to profit from. What had been a vibrant, diverse community, which did indeed foster much creative work while rents and property prices were low, is now effectively being depopulated.

Like all bubbles this will pop, hopefully before tumbleweed starts blowing down Fitzrovia streets. The only ‘creative’ thing happening here is creative accounting and tax avoidance.

5 replies on “Profiteering is sucking out the soul of Fitzrovia”

  1. I totally agree with this article and was thinking on the same lines as Fitzroviaflaneur. Sadly I don’t think that we will be able to do anything about this; once the damage has been done – it can’t be turned back. Fitzrovia has been handed over to the property developers and Camden Council has washed their hands of the long-term local residents.

  2. Apologises Fitzrovia News, you are quite correct – I keep forgetting Westminster Council; one has a tendency to select the council that one is closest. When did the term philanthropist change to capitalist? I don’t want to put this into the ‘Rich’ Vs ‘Poor’ argument; but, where are our modern day George Peabody’s?

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