Hundreds of angry residents have signed a petition calling on Lambeth council to stop the eviction of a vulnerable tenant.
Housing campaigners say that Charmaine Lodge has lived in “shortlife” council housing for 14 years but the threat of an impending eviction on September 19 has left her with serious health problems.
Ms Lodge is the latest of the borough’s so-called shortlife tenants being evicted as the authority looks to clear all such residents from their homes to sell the housing or replace it with viable social homes. Other high profile cases include legendary basketball coach Jimmy Rogers and the housing co-operative at Carlton Mansions.
Writing on the online petition, her supporters said: “For Charmain this situation is particularly serious because she is a very vulnerable woman with serious medical problems whose recovery is now under threat because of her precarious housing situation.
“Her GP and other health workers have made submissions on her behalf appealing for the eviction threat to be lifted but so far these appeals have all been rejected by the Council.”
They add: “We call on the council to show some compassion and lift the eviction order immediately.”
This summer saw a rise in evictions of shortlife tenants from their homes. In this month’s edition of the Brixton Bugle newspaper, Clapham Old Town resident Trace Newton-Ingham told her story of eviction from the home in which she’d lived for all of her adult life.
Cllr Pete Robbins, Lambeth’s cabinet member for housing said: “Whilst we cannot discuss individual circumstances for obvious reasons, there is no question of anyone being made unintentionally homeless, particularly if they are in a vulnerable situation.
“Every shortlife occupant has the right to become a council tenant on a secure lifetime tenancy in a property that meets their needs. The number of shortlife properties come down from over 1200 to less than 50, and we are working hard to address the individual circumstances of those few remaining former shortlife residents.
“Some shortlife properties have been sold for over £2m – so a single sale can pay for over 100 Lambeth properties to be brought up to the Lambeth Housing Standard. Money raised by selling shortlife properties will be invested in new, modernised and affordable social housing. Failing to act to address the unfairness of shortlife housing would mean cutting millions from the housing budget and fewer new affordable homes for local people.”
You can view the petition here: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/lambeth-council-stop-the-eviction-of-charmain-lodge-on-the-19th-of-september-2
Are you affected by shortlife evictions? What are your thoughts? Comment below or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.