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Housing Association chief says Stamford Hill is ‘full’

Industrial Dwellings Society boss said “Stamford Hill is just simply full. High property prices in London are forcing Jews to more outlying areas.”

    Suzanne Wolfe
    Suzanne Wolfe

    The head of a housing association that works with the strictly Orthodox Jewish community has said high property prices is pushing Jews out of Stamford Hill.

    Suzanne Wolfe, chief executive of Industrial Dwellings Society (IDS) which manages over 1,500 homes across London, said the Jewish neighbourhood’s costs were being driven up by a shortage of suitable housing.

    “Stamford Hill is just simply full. High property prices in London are forcing Jews to more outlying areas.”

    Estimates put the strictly Orthodox community in Stamford Hill at around 30,000, growing at a rate of five per cent annually.

    IDS has housed four Stamford Hill families in Canvey Island, Essex, where there is a growing Orthodox community, as featured in a BBC documentary this week.

    “The families were in absolutely dire housing need,” Ms Wolfe said.

    “For one family, the housing conditions were so abysmal, the ceiling had collapsed in one of the rooms where the children were playing. One child had to snatch another child out of the way of falling masonry.

    “I handed the keys to the father who said to me: ‘You’ve got to us just in time. We couldn’t have managed another year.’”

    IDS was established in 1885 by Nathan Rothschild to improve living conditions for Jews in the overcrowded East End of London and continues to specialise in “culturally specific housing”.

    It manages more than 1,000 homes in the borough of Hackney alone, and plans to build more than 500 homes over the next ten years, particularly in areas outside London such as Hertsmere.

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