We hope that you have enjoyed a break between the election and the new council term.
We now have a council chamber with many new faces, people who were not around when the policy of ‘shortlife recall’ was decided upon by cabinet in 2011.
So, it’s time for a fresh start on the controversial ‘shortlife’ housing co-op evictions.
You might think that you can’t turn back time? However, there are still long-term residents and communities who can be saved from what has been a destructive and, in some cases, devastating policy.
Why do this?
There are numerous reasons:
· To stop selling off social housing.
· To stop adding people to the waiting list.
· To keep mixed communities.
· To stop the problems that will happen when you try and uproot 70+ year olds from homes they have lived in since the 1970s. Of the remaining residents 50% are OAPs, and there are others under 65 who would be classed as vulnerable.
· To stop the obliteration of supportive, self-reliant communities. Those supported by their neighbours will now become an added burden on already stretched services when their communities are scattered.
· To respect the fact that many remaining residents are dependent on their community networks – formal and informal – such as healthcare, schools and other community involvement.
· To make sure that no more health problems are exacerbated to the point of hospitalisation and incapacitation, as in the case of one man who collapsed with a heart attack four days before his trial and spent months in a coma, and is now still far from what limited recovery he can expect.
· To make good on the clear promises that were made to local communities by their Labour councillors.
· To recognise – as has been acknowledged by Labour councillors – that these homes would not be standing if it wasn’t for the residents, and that it would be senseless as well as expensive to evict people, only to rehouse them again.
· To do the decent thing and offer tenancies (co-op based or council tenancies) to people left in limbo by successive administrations.
· To help facilitate a Super Co-op plan that was backed by the Co-operative Enterprise Hub and local housing experts – a plan estimated to save the council up to £13m and retain social housing units.
· To acknowledge the lack of social/realistically affordable rented housing in Lambeth and that the Super Co-op would be a step to stabilising this dwindling resource.
We hope that these are things that you would value, rather than simply defer to the continuation of a policy that has demonstrated a lack of humanity and that has often exposed a hole in the borough’s democratic accountability.
Meanwhile, there have been numerous assertions made about ‘shortlife’ which are inaccurate. We have dealt with them on many occasions and have posted full responses to them on our website.
It’s important that you have a full briefing on the situation, so, while you are actively encouraged to read more about the evictions, we would also appreciate the opportunity to meet you face-to-face, either individually, or as a group, and to work with those who are interested in finding a co-operative solution.
Please get in touch.
Lambeth United Housing Co-operative