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London Olympics' legacy off track for locals

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 01:41

Five years after the London Olympics, the Games' legacy is off-track for locals priced out by rocketing property prices. Laura Frykberg reports.

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It's opening was marked with a bright promise... of lifting the suburb it was held, out of poverty. But five years on since the London Olympics... And life for some in Stratford, has got even harder. Sharon O'Callaghan's rent rose almost 25 percent in the first year after the games... Forcing her out of the city. SHARON O'CALLAGHAN-EVANS, FORMER RESIDENT IN REDUCED-RENT APARTMENT IN THE OLYMPIC PARK, SAYING: "They priced me out of my home, my community and my son out of his school." Her story isn't the height of it. Despite a nine billion pound investment in the Olympic Park.. Since 2011, homelessness and the need for emergency accommodation has increased more than 60 percent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLENN WOOD, MAN WHO HAS BEEN HOMELESS FOR FIVE YEARS SAYING: "Disgusting, I suffer with epilepsy and I'm still not a priority for houses,." Still, the area has undergone rapid change since 2012. One of the latest developments, a 2.4 billion pound business district.. Including 333 new residential units within them. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIAN BERRY, LEADER OF THE GREEN PARTY AND CHAIR OF THE HOUSING GROUP IN THE LONDON ASSEMBLY, SAYING: "We are very very far behind the target of reaching 61,000 new homes in this area by 2020. I think the last measure we looked at we were below 6,000. There are more homes being built, but the question is who can afford them." A question some might ask these developers, which also did the Athlete's Village. When they sold off even apartments touted as affordable, after the games, the price was anything up to 80 percent of market rates. Allowing limitless increases as prices soared - for those who could afford them.

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London Olympics' legacy off track for locals

Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 01:41