Families have been given two months to move out of their homes so council can build private houses

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, UK unions, Unite, Housing

Unite Hands Off Our HomesHundreds of housing campaigners will today join Our West Hendon campaigners and residents from the West Hendon estate in Barnet where some have just ten weeks until the council kicks them out for the second stage of the development.

Barnet council has given the land to Barratt Homes along with millions of pounds to demolish the council homes and build tower blocks of private housing.

Around 200 families face eviction from their homes from March 31st. They will be rehoused in further non-secure tenancies away from their community and support networks.

The residents say that they have been conned, that council money is being used to build private housing and that before plans even reached final development they had been signed off by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Jasmin Parsons, resident and member of campaign group Our West Hendon, said: “What is happening here is awful. We are all living in fear. These are our homes. Some residents have lived here for more than 10 years and now are being forced out and away from their family, friends and support networks.

“Our West Hendon has organised this day of action to show Barnet council and Barratt Homes that our estate is not a tool in their ‘get rich quick’ plan but people’s homes and lives.

“Other housing campaigners, who recognise what is happening in West Hendon as symptomatic of the wider housing crisis, will be joining us tomorrow. We know that it is only through collective action that we can force the government to make the necessary changes to planning and housing policy.”

Unite community co-ordinator Pilgrim Tucker said: “We are here to help shine a light on Our West Hendon and to link it in with the wider network of housing campaigns across London also fighting to save their homes and communities. What the council is doing is effectively socially cleansing the area. Buying up residents homes at half of what they’re worth and forcing them away from their families.

“We know from what happened at New Era that people can take on the council’s and the private landlords and win.”

* The protest is taking place at Marsh Drive Community Centre, Marsh Drive, NW9 7QE from 2pm.

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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