Monday, 27 February 2012

Rabbi Abraham Pinter: I hope Stamford Hill will stay multicultural

Rabbi Abraham Pinter answered questions on the fast-growing ultra orthodox (Charedi)  community in Stamford Hill.  Here he addressed the fear that the community will push everyone else out of the area.

A full list of questions put to Rabbi Pinter and links to his answers can be found here.

Can you calm the fear held by people who live near the community that they will eventually be pushed out of the area?

Rabbi Pinter: It’s an emotive question and I don’t think there’s anybody in the community who aims to do that. I appreciate living in a community where there are a lot of other cultures mixed together. It’s a wonderful place, Stamford Hill, and I hope it will stay multicultural.

Obviously the community is growing and there will be market forces at work. New or growing Charedi households need housing which puts pressure on local housing supply. Over time, more local housing is occupied by Charedi people. I’ve always been very supportive of looking at other solutions like moving out into other areas. But the problem with this is that people who are most likely to move are those at the lower end of the market and therefore do not have the necessary resources required to set up new communities with the required infrastructure, synagogues, schools, large houses etc.

However, it is about finding a solution. We were having some good discussions with the previous government about housing outside of Hackney which would reduce increasing concentration with the neighbourhood. But in the present economic climate, and with all the changes and cuts, everything has ground to a halt.

So, in answer to the question, there’s no intention of pushing other communities out. It’s just that there are very limited resources and that does sometimes lead people to feel that there’s some kind of organised activity in the Charedi community as a whole. This is a mistake.

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