Focus E15 mums stage protest at empty Carpenters Estate
16:42 16 June 2014
Young mums have staged a demonstration at the Carpenters Estate in their ongoing battle over social housing.
The campaigners gathered outside boarded-up properties in Stratford with posters and banners declaring their frustration over the lack of affordable homes for young families in the borough.
The group includes pregnant women and mothers who lived in the Focus E15 Foyer, a temporary housing block in Victoria Street, Stratford, which had funding withdrawn by the council last year.
Some of them claim that they were faced with eviction in October and offered new accommodation in Manchester, Birmingham and Hastings.
They have been campaigning since September for the right to be given long-term council accommodation rather than what they see as the unaffordable private sector.
Campaigner Jasmin Stone said: “We are fighting for everybody with housing problems. We will fight for as long as it takes to stop the privatisation of London and stop social cleansing.
“We are fighting for social housing for all, a home that everyone can afford, where they feel comfortable and have the support networks that we all need.”
A Newham Council spokesperson said: “Only one of the families who were in the Foyer family unit when the Recorder first reported on this issue is still there and we are assisting that family to find a suitable home.
“The Council has helped the other 20 families to move to independent accommodation, which the families themselves chose.
“All 19 families who chose to stay in London have been found a home in London, at rent levels which are fully covered by Housing Benefit. The support they each received from Newham Council included a significant package of rent deposit and incentives for landlords.
“We have looked at how we can use the empty homes on the Carpenters Estate as temporary accommodation before the estate is redeveloped. Regrettably, this is not possible as the Tenants Management Organisation on the estate will not cooperate with us.”