Marsha, a brave single mother who has been living in temporary accommodation in Brimstone House for over a year with her 6 year old daughter, was yesterday contacted by Housing Options and told that she would be offered housing in Woolwich. She was informed in a threatening manner that this would be the last time she would be offered housing, and that she had to view and accept the property today.
Marsha managed to get some pictures when viewing the property. These speak for themselves.
The Agent who was showing the property agreed he would never house his family in this flat.
This is private accommodation offered by Newham Council. What a disgrace from a Council that prides itself on tackling slum private landlords.
Marsha has not only suffered Council threats in relation to her housing, but has been verbally threatened by social services in relation to her child being rehoused without her.
Journalist Kate Belgrave has documented Marsha’s full story in more detail. Please read about this here:
Do Councils actually try to drive homeless mothers to breakdown so they can remove their kids?
Stand in solidarity with Bianca on Monday 12 October. Bianca is being evicted. The baliffs are coming. She wants to be rehoused in her local community near to her support networks.
Either meet at her flat at from 8.30am or at the housing office in Illford at 9.30am.
Please be aware that the press will be there -bring your banners and your voices!
Bianca’s flat address is : 304, Chadwell Heath High Rd, Romford, RM6 6 AG. Meet there at 8.30am. Nearest station to Bianca’s flat is Chadwell Heath Station, or 86 bus.
From her flat we will be organising free cabs to take people to the housing office when Bianca has her housing meeting at 9.30am.
Housing office address is: The Housing Advice Centre, 17-23 Clements Road, Ilford IG1 1AG This is the second meeting point and we will be there at 9.30am.Nearest Station to the housing office is: Ilford Station
Bus 25 86 145 147 169 W19
We urge Redbridge council to look carefully at the needs of this young family who have a child with hypermobility needs. They want to move forward with their lives in a positive way. Bianca’s child needs to remain in her school where she has completed her reception year and made friends.
Remember the council must exhaust all local possibilites first before they rehouse Bianca out of the borough.
Demand that Bianca and her children are rehoused in the local area! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Saturday on our street stall we met another young mother in urgent housing need called Bianca Ford. The private landlord is selling her home in Chadwell Heath.
A court order has been issued and she has been given an eviction notice meaning that Bianca is now nervously waiting for the bailiffs to come knocking. Redbridge council have told her that she may be moved out of the area into Bed and Breakfast accommodation. She has to wait until she is homeless to find out, in about 4 weeks time.
Bianca Ford is an articulate young single mother who is 23 years old. She is responsible for two children. Her youngest child is only 9 months and her oldest child is 5 and is due to start back at the local primary school in September. Her 5 year old is registered as having a disability. Having a child with health needs is one of the reason why Bianca wants to retain links to the local area so that her child can keep receiving regular treatment from the physiotherapist. If she was moved to a different borough, Bianca has been told it could take up to 8 months for her child to start receiving treatment again. Such a long waiting time would be detrimental to her child’s development.
Bianco wants to see her children thrive, to settle, to have friends and be happy. She also wants them both to grow up with the love and guidance of her wider family who live in the area. Bianca is also responsible for helping out her mother who has epileptic fits and sometimes needs Bianca to look after her. Who will help her if Bianca is moved away?
Getting news that you are going to be evicted is distressing. When her landlord told her he was going to sell her home, Bianca’s world was turned upside down. We need long term, secure social housing so people can form networks of friendship and support. Bianca has already spent time in a B&B when she was pregnant and she does not want to return to living in temporary housing that is unsuitable for her children.
Bianca dreams about going to university, to get a job and to help children with disabilities. As a single mother of two children, how can she apply for a university place if she does not know where she is going to be living, or if she is being moved around constantly?
We urge Redbridge council to look carefully at the needs of this young family who have a child with a disability. They want to move forward with their lives in a positive way. Bianca’s child needs to remain in her school where she has completed her reception year and made friends.
Please consider emailing Redbridge Council to highlight this case and the urgency of this family’s situation.
Please be ready to stand with Bianca when the bailiffs come. We are asking people to go to the housing office in Redbridge to support Bianca and her children during her housing meeting. Stay tuned for more updates.
Demand social housing, not social cleansing!
Please be ready to stand with Bianca outside Redbridge Housing Office on Monday 12 October. Look out for further updates
Danila Caetano, a 22 year old with a 13 month old baby, came to the Focus E15 campaign street stall on Saturday 4 July. She has been living at Focus E15 hostel since 2011. This hostel is where the original group of mums started the Focus E15 campaign.
This is Danila’s story.
I am a single mum. Single mums get judged unfairly. The local authorities do not care about single mothers or their children.
Living at Focus hostel is difficult with a young child, the flat is very small and cramped. The baby does not have enough space. I am living in one room really. I have a table next to my bed where we can eat. It is dangerous for the baby and when you have repairs needed to be done it takes East Thames ages to fix it. I had no hot water for the first 6 months of my pregnancy. They don’t care.
I have suffered from depression. When you bring a child into the world you want to give her a decent life. I am so unhappy that my child is living in a cramped situation.The hostel is not suitable for children.
I have lived in Newham since 2008. I have family and friends here. I am studying at Newham college and my baby goes to nursery in Newham. I would have no support network if I was to be moved out of London. It is already hard being a single mum and I would struggle to live somewhere else.
Danila is one of many young residents of Focus E15 foyer, stuck in limbo, neither evicted nor given the support to be able to move out and fearful that they will be sent out of London as Newham continues to carry out social cleansing.
Newham Council and East Thames Housing Association need to work together to house the young people and children of Focus E15 hostel in decent, long term, affordable and appropriate housing.
Eye-witness report from Focus E15 hostel
On 25 June there was a fight that led to the reception area being covered with blood and glass.
The father of a family of four, all living in Focus E15 hostel, told Focus E15 campaign that it wasn’t until 4 July, nine days later, that the floor was cleaned. In his words:
This shows the utter disregard that Newham Council and their business partners (East Thames and Tando) have for the residents of Focus E15 hostel. Children and families are being exposed to unhealthy conditions on a daily basis. I do not think that the place is suitable for young people to grow up in and this constitutes child cruelty of the highest order in a developed society.
Contact the following people to voice your concern:
Yvonne Arrowsmith, chief executive of East Thames – email@example.com Terry Paul, councillor Stratford – firstname.lastname@example.org Lyn Brown, MP for West Ham – email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Florence Bangboye housing officer – Florence.email@example.com Robin Wales – Mayor of Newham -firstname.lastname@example.org
The young woman and baby who was threatened with eviction from her B&B when she refused to be moved to the outskirts of Basildon (due to racist abuse) is no longer being evicted tomorrow, Tuesday 7 July.
Her case has been highlighted by Focus E15 campaign and other eviction resistance housing activists.
Today Newham council phoned her up to say that they will continue payment for the B&B until there is a decision from her appeal.
She will keep us updated on her housing situation.
She and her baby still need to be housed in a decent long term affordable stable home.
Keep up the pressure!
Social Housing! Not Social Cleansing!
Focus E15 campaign met a woman on the weekly stall on 27 June. This is her story:
“I am a 23 year old single Muslim mother of a four month old daughter. I have an eviction notice for 7 July from the B&B we are in. After that day my baby daughter and I will be homeless.
During my pregnancy I was living in a hostel. I was depressed most of the time and I wasn’t eating well and I had pelvic problems which meant I wasn’t able to get out of bed or climb the stairs, and my room in the hostel was on the top floor. Once I gave birth, Newham Council placed me in a B&B, not really suitable for a young baby.
Now I face eviction because the council say that I have made myself intentionally homeless by rejecting an offer that they found to be suitable for me in Basildon, Essex.
I went to view the property in Basildon and had a terrible time while I was there with verbal racist abuse and being told to go back to the place I came from etc. They made me feel unsettled and scared, unwanted and inferior to them. I felt like I was nothing and since that day my depression and anxiety have got worse.When I told Newham Council, they said I was not physically abused, that it could have been a one off, and that this wasn’t a good enough reason to refuse as the offer was a suitable one and that I had to either take the property in Basildon or leave the B&B.
I have family and friends in Newham who help me since I gave birth. The council don’t listen and don’t care. I’m scared for my daughter. The day she was born I made a promise to myself. I made a promise to protect her and always make sure she is looked after and safe and secure, to always make sure she is warm and always smiling.“
An eviction order has been sent to this young single mother and baby
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Details of eviction resistance on Tuesday 7 July to follow soon. Please check back