December 8 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
A group of 29 young mums and mums-to-be fighting against eviction from a hostel are determined to take their cause right the way to Downing Street.
And MP Lyn Brown has met with the women - all aged under 25 - and is looking into how she can help them to stay living in Newham.
The women live at Focus E15 Foyer in Stratford but were told they had to leave by housing provider East Thames after Newham Council cut funding for the support services that are provided there.
The council says it will help to find them new accommodation but the women are concerned they will only be offered housing outside of London.
For the past couple of weeks, the young women have been petitioning in Broadway and have now got more than 900 signatures backing them to stay in Newham.
Jasmine Stone, 19, who lives at the hostel with her daughter Safia, 15 months, said: “We have had a really good reception and once we have collected some more signatures we will take it to Downing Street.”
She said they had been told to find private rented accommodation but said it was “impossible” without money for a deposit.
“For the past two months we have been looking for private rented accommodation but we haven’t found anything at all. Landlords won’t accept a bond scheme because they want a cash deposit.
“The council says we should look outside of London where the rents are lower but I can’t move away from my family,” she said.
A spokeswoman for East Thames said the date for closing the mum and baby unit had not yet been set but all the women will have to move, although it would be as and when they found alternative accommodation.
A Newham council spokeswoman said: “The priority is to provide them with accommodation within Newham or in neighbouring boroughs but the Government’s benefit cap has made London unaffordable for some people and this is why offers of accommodation may be outside London. No-one is forced to move.”