Dave Hill’s Observer article about the Haringey Development Vehicle (HDV) left out the one vital word “viability”.

30 October 2017

The fewer the affordable homes the better the profit for Haringey council and Lend Lease and the worse the health of impoverished mothers and their babies. The HDV is a very, very bad housing policy 

The Editor, 
The Observer
Foe publication please.
cc Labour Councillors, London Borough of Haringey 
Dave Hill's article in last Sunday's Observer about the Haringey Development Vehlcle (HDV) left out the one vital word "viability". He tells us that Haringey has more than 9000 people seeking council homes and there are more than 3000 in temporary accommodation. That is 12,000 looking for a secure truly affordable home in Haringey. The "radical solution" solution proposed by a majority of Councillors is to build 5000 homes for sale or rent; but only 40%, or 2000 of them, will be priced below market levels. Every council minute about that 40% makes it subject to viability; it could be less. The council is taking a 50% share in the profits of HDV.  The fewer the affordable homes built by the HDV the better the profit for both the Council and Lend Lease. That puts Haringey Council firmly on the side of free-market prices and rents of homes in Tottenham, where the desperate need is for 100% of truly affordable homes to replace the demolished council housing and to house the 12,000 currently seeking council homes or in temporary accommodation. 
The majority of Councillors believe they will "retain control" of housing they had before HDV.  That is very unlikely. Control will be governed by the viability assessments which determine the profit for the shareholders of Lend Lease whose best interests are not served by affordable housing. That dreadful policy will apply all the way to the end of demolishing council housing and rebuilding market market housing ten to twenty years hence.  The Northumberland Park council estate of 800 homes in Tottenham is among those due for demolition. It is in the most deprived ward in the borough, which is among the 10% most deprived in the UK. Low birth-weight is at a third world level of nearly 11%. The council's housing plans have failed to make the llnk between high rents, enforcing council tax, stagnant incomes, debt and poor maternal nutrition. They therefore ignore the ill health of impoverished mothers and their babies. 
The HDV is a very, very bad housing policy, it fails to meet the need for at least 12,000 secure truly affordable homes in Haringey and it ignores public health. It must be scrapped, whatever the result of the judicial review, and replaced by a policy that reserves public land for 100% truly affordable housing.   
Rev Paul Nicolson, 
Taxpayers Against Poverty
Member Advisory Council Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition 

A comment from Professor Michael Crawford on low birthweight. 

That is Appalling - 11% It is third world data. Good to alert us of this sickness,

1950 it was 6% or there abouts across the country and that was not good. Scandinavians run around 3%.

It is a viciously sad as it will be the tip of an iceberg which breeds ill-health and especially mental ill-health. It is even sadder when you reckon we know what to do about it and prevent low birthweight. It would be interesting to know what proprtion were born below 3,000g.  That is the point at which mortality and morbidity noticeably begins to climb and some consider it a better marker. The lowest region for disorder is 3,500-4,500.  I will bet that more than 50% in that region are born below 3,000g. in our studies poor, maternal nutritional status as measured by 8 key nutrients, goes sep wise downwards from 3,200g, Above that there is no desirableness relationship[ between nutrition and birthweight. Below it there is a straight line down! Moreover Wendy Doyle and colleagues showed that the relationahsip was independent of social class, income,  smoking or ethnicity. If a woman had a nutrient intake comfortable with the present recommendations she produced a healthy birth weight baby. If her nutrition was lacking then whether or not she was a rich WASP and non smoker, her risk of a low birthweight baby is high! By contrast, a low income Hackney mother but one who had learnt about the significance of nutrition, (DOUBTLESS FROM HER OWN MOTHER)  met the requirements, then she would have a healthy birthweight.

Much of the low birthweight will be babies born preterm. That is before the brain has finished its prenatal developmental growth thrust. Tragic.

Visiting Professor Michael A Crawford, PhD, FRSB, FRCPath,

Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition,
Surgery and Cancer,
Imperial College, London,
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Campus, Room H 3,34
369 Fulham Road, London SW10 9NH,
Mobile 07725250541Tel 02033157899
Fax 02033153090