Houseboat Community Fears Forced Removal Ahead of Olympics

As London prepares to host the 2012 Summer Olympics, new rules about its waterways could force hundreds of houseboat residents out of the city's canals.

"British Waterways, which manages 2,200 miles of canals and rivers, has put forward changes to the mooring rules on the river Lea, in east London, that could increase the cost of living on the waterway from about £600 to £7,000 a year. Residents see the move as a deliberate attempt to drive them away.

A draft note from British Waterways on 6 December 2010, seen by the Guardian, says: 'The urgency relates to the objective of reducing unauthorised mooring on the Lea navigation and adjacent waterways in time for the Olympics.'"

Houseboaters who live in the area say the impending rules are an attempt at "social cleansing" of the area ahead of the events.

Full Story: Houseboaters being 'socially cleansed' from Olympics area

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