The leader of Lambeth council has called off the eviction of a ‘shortlife’ resident just days before bailiffs were due to kick the ‘vulnerable’ tenant out of her home.
Charmain Lodge was granted the eleventh hour reprieve after angry residents lobbied council leader Lib Peck at the town hall yesterday.
Ms Lodge, who suffers from health problems made worse by the threatened eviction, was due to be evicted on Thursday (September 19) – but has now been given until November 1 to find new accommodation.
More than 400 people signed a petition against her eviction, and supporters claim her GP had also written to council officers asking them to cancel the move.
In a letter to Ms Lodge today, Cllr Peck said she had asked lawyers to cancel the eviction. She added that officers would work with Ms Lodge to find new suitable accommodation, but that Lambeth remains “committed to recalling shortlife properties”.
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 to raise funds. Other high profile cases include legendary basketball coach Jimmy Rogers and the housing co-operative at Carlton Mansions.
Last week one Lambeth councillor, Helen O’Malley, slammed her Labour colleagues for failing to act with “care and justice” over Ms Lodge.
Cllr Pete Robbins, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, told Brixton Blog last week: “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.”