On Saturday 17 April we marched, with noise and energy, from Brimstone House to the Carpenters Estate. It is shocking and enraging to see the almost empty tower blocks on the Carpenters Estate – council flats left empty for over ten years, whilst we know that families with children in Brimstone House are crammed into unsuitable accommodation which is unfit and unhealthy for children.
At the same time as the residents from Brimstone House were on the march and demanding to be moved, the Mayor of Newham, in a parallel universe was patting herself on the back and sharing a tweet from Populo living, Newham council’s housing company:
11 families! How insulting, when tens of thousands are left to languish on the housing waiting list, and in Brimstone House alone, over 200 families are stuck in shoddy, cramped accommodation. Families living in hostels across the borough do not care about pomp and awards, they need the council to do their job and provide decent homes for residents. The council should start immediately by saving every home that is boarded up on Carpenters Estate and refurbish the estate for the people of Newham!
Great to have the support from Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism, The Socialist Party, Newham Trades Council, Social Housing Action Campaign, East London People Before Profit .
We hope to see you all at the next action led by residents from Brimstone House on Saturday 8 May. We will be meeting outside 10 Victoria Street at 2.30pm. We will not stop until Carpenters Estate is saved!
A mother living in a hostel is doing her best for her children by trying to keep up with her education. She wants to get ahead and move on with her life by studying, but the cramped living conditions make this difficult. She has to allow the children to play in one bit of the space and then is forced to learn and study in the tiny kitchen area by using the cooker as a work table. There is no other space available as she has two children – in a space that was originally designed for one single person. The hostel known as Brimstone House in 10 Victoria street in Stratford, Newham, is no place for a family to grow and learn.
Families have had to also endure months of living on top of each other throughout lockdown. It is claustrophobic. Why should she and her children be forced to live like this, in one of the richest countries in the world? Mothers have every right to be students and a decent society would ensure that everyone could access childcare and further education and fully contribute to society to the best of their abilities.
Watch and share the video below to understand how some are forced to live. We are demanding that Newham Council rehouse all the families in Brimstone house for the sake of the children’s future – they need to put down roots, to attend the same school, to become part of a neighborhood. Instead they are left at the mercy of the private rented sector, which often means short term tenancies, constant moving and overpriced accommodation. The families living in the hostel have had enough!
Come and help organise the campaign for decent housing in Newham by joining the regular street stall on Saturday’s from 12-2pm outside Wilko’s on the Broadway.
Newham council, give us a future! Give us a chance!