For the last two years Lambeth United Housing Co-operative has been campaigning against Lambeth Council’s destruction of housing co-operative communities.
The eviction policy of this council (a Labour council, fyi) means that OAPs and other vulnerable residents, among others, will be forced from their homes.
These are homes that were saved from demolition by the establishment of the co-ops and were maintained by the residents at no cost to the council.
Rather than giving residents tenancies (some have been in their homes since the 1970s and are in their 70s), the council stood back from the whole arrangement, despite originally helping the co-ops set up. In the 4 decades that have followed, close-knit, self-reliant communities flourished without the help of the local authority.
Now that the housing market has inflated the prices of these homes (ones that were compulsory purchased in the 1970s for very small sums), the council are seeking to make a fast buck by turfing out residents and selling the houses off on the open market, at auction.
The policy has a triple whammy effect; social housing is being sold off; people who have homes are forced to displace others on the waiting list; none of the money raised is being used to provide more social housing.
The council have repeatedly refused a solution backed by the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, and other experts, to keep the houses as social housing. Meanwhile, they have blocked democratic recourses including Freedom of Information requests.
Supporters of the residents include Kate Hoey MP, Vivienne Westwood, Mark Thomas, Joanna Lumley, Maggi Hambling, Peter Tatchell and Ken Loach, but the voices of local residents, Londoners generally, and embarrassed rank and file Labour Party members have also been heard loud and clear against Lambeth Council’s vindictive policy.
Any help you can give us in raising this issue would be greatly appreciated.
The links to our website, all our social media and our petition are below:
Handy links to coverage of the issue:
The eviction story in quotes: http://www.lambethunitedhousingco-op.org.uk/?page_id=404
Lambeth Housing Activists: http://housingactivists.co.uk/housing-coops/human-costs-destroying-housing-cooperatives/