Ex­tra homes bought for Can­vey out­post

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

THE EMBRYONIC Charedi com­mu­nity of Can­vey Is­land in Es­sex has re­ceived a boost with the de­ci­sion of the Agu­das Is­rael Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion to buy prop­er­ties in the area.

The first set­tlers from Stam­ford Hill set up home in the es­tu­ary town nearly a year ago.

Joel Freed­man, one of the pi­o­neers, said 14 Or­tho­dox Jewish fam­i­lies were liv­ing there, with an­other 24 houses pur­chased for oth­ers to move into. A for­mer school site serves as an ed­u­ca­tional and com­mu­nal cen­tre.

Now Ita Sy­mons, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the AIHA, has con­firmed it is in the process of buy­ing five houses in the area.

Mrs Sy­mons con­ceded that a year ago, she had been “du­bi­ous” about the prac­ti­cal­ity of groups mov­ing out of Stam­ford Hill.

“But I’ve turned 360 de­grees,” she said. “I’ve vis­ited Can­vey Is­land twice and I’ve been very im­pressed.”

She at­trib­uted her change of heart to a num­ber of fac­tors, among them that Hack­ney Coun­cil was “not in­ter­ested” in help­ing the Charedi com­mu­nity to ex­pand lo­cally. Grants for af­ford­able hous­ing from the Greater Lon­don Au­thor­ity were worth a frac­tion of what they used to be.

House prices of £1 mil­lion-plus in Hack­ney were be­yond the reach of many fam­i­lies.“I am now try­ing to en­cour­age fam­i­lies who des­per­ately need good qual­ity, af­ford­able hous­ing to do some­thing I wouldn’t have thought pos­si­ble 18 months ago,” Mrs Sy­mons said.

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