Lambeth’s ‘shortlife’ scandal
Lambeth Council is currently busy destroying housing co-ops that have existed in the borough for 40 years, while at the same time marketing itself as a “co-operative council.”
Lambeth’s “recall” of “shortlife” housing means that members of these co-ops are being taken to court so that the council can gain possession of their homes – homes that co-op residents have maintained across this 40-year period – and sell them on the open market, at auction.
Against a background of threatened evictions, legal intimidation, hypocrisy and mismanagement, housing co-op residents, supported by their MP (Kate Hoey), are still hoping that Lambeth Council will seek a more constructive way of working with them and have promoted a ‘Super Co-op’ that would have borough-wide benefits and leave a legacy of social housing in Lambeth.
But Lambeth are not listening, despite the involvement of co-op housing experts.
There are a number of maddening elements to this story that show up a lunatic action by a historically troubled local authority failing to shake off its past:
- the refusal of a so-called model “co-operative council” to meaningfully negotiate a co-operative solution
- the purge of a community; the destruction of home and family life built up over 4 decades
- the reneging of promises by various councillors
- the continued withdrawal of the council from plans to bring about a promised permanency
- the unnecessary displacement of people onto an already over-subscribed housing waiting list
- the expenditure of Lambeth on an expensive law firm (charging up to 5 times what defendants are paying their solicitors) who threaten residents with “unauthorised occupation charges”
- the expenditure of Lambeth on vacant property managers Camelot
- the expenditure of Lambeth on contractors who smash up facilities in vacated houses to make them uninhabitable and then have to refurbish them again before developers come in and do what they want to buildings no matter what their conservation status is.
Please support us in our campaign to stop the evictions and for a common sense and fair solution.
More information can be found on http://www.lambethunitedhousingco-op.org.uk/