Housing association's show flat occupied by single mothers
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
A housing association's show flat was occupied by campaigners last week in a protest against the rehousing of single mothers.
The protestors took their children with them as they occupied the building at East Thames Housing Association’s London offices.
The protestors, all women, are objecting to plans by Newham Council to rehouse some of the single mothers living in East Thames' Focus E15 Foyer building in places like Birmingham and Manchester.
If they refuse the offer, the council will deem them to have made themselves intentionally homeless and they will be placed in more temporary accommodation.
Jasmin Stone, one of the activists who took part in the occupation, said: "We've come here today to show that we're not going to give up fighting. We're going to keep fighting until we get what we need. Our children need social housing in London. And we're not doing it just for Focus E15. We're doing it for families everywhere."
Another protestor, Tresha Elliott, said: "We’re doing it for a lot of people out there, going through what we're going through, getting torn apart from their families, just feeling stressed, depressed. We've had enough of this, we just want changes.”
In a statement, East Thames said: “Since October, East Thames has been working with the young mums and with Newham Council and other housing providers to find suitable alternative accommodation for the mums. Our aim is to provide support in the areas where the young mums and their children most need it, to support their move on, and continue support in the form of resettlement services after the move where needed.
"Local homes have been identified for a number of the young mums and we have again confirmed that the mums face no immediate threat of eviction from the foyer. We are continuing to provide tailored support services to the young mums and their children living at Focus E15. This is being funded by Newham Council. This support includes basic life skills, self-development and confidence building, money management and support to access employment and education opportunities.
"We are working with the young mums on a one-to-one basis to identify suitable accommodation for them and their children.”