Story: Camille Daughma
Burngreave has come to be known as one of the most diverse and tolerant districts within Sheffield. In the recent book, “Burngreave Voices”, it is quoted as being “alive, friendly and welcoming”. Its diverse and multicultural background is unique to Sheffield.
In the 1980’s when the various thriving industries declined, poverty resulted. The rich moved out and left the poor. All the conditions associated with poverty manifested themselves within the area.
In recent years, regeneration of the area has brought about optimism amongst the residents. The area is now clean and safe and brings a sense of pride to its residents.
There is however a dark side to this regeneration. Residents are now being forced out of the area due to rising house prices and rent. This method of dealing with deprivation creates a cycle of the same problems. What eventually happens is that the problem is moved to another area.
In certain areas within local authorities, regeneration plans have worked well and in others they haven’t. The present model being demonstrated within Burngreave by the local authority seems to be to get the area developed, move out the poor and move in the highincome earners. In other words, “let’s move the problem elsewhere”.
This is a short-sighted approach to the situation as, within another 10-20 years, due to lack of sufficient stable infrastructure and opportunities, the rich will again abandon ship for greener pastures. There will then be the need to start the process all over again from scratch instead of building on the foundations created by the present regeneration process.
Burngreave residents shared their experiences with me.
A female resident in her 20’s, stated how she had to move out of the area as rent of her 1 bedroom housing association accommodation increased. She was unable to find anything within the area at a cost she could afford so she ended up moving out of the area.
A resident in his 30’s, is threatened with homelessness, with his only prospect of accommodation being outside the Burngreave area. He had rented a 2-bedroomed house for £200/month since 1998. In 2006 it was sold on when the landlord cashed in on the rising value. The new owner increased the rent to £430 and forced him to give up his space so it could be developed into 2 flats, as he stood to earn more by having another tenant in.
If you need advice on your tennacy, either private or housing association contact Housing Aid on 273 5450.