Labour calls for halt to Sweets Way evictions

Barnet’s Labour councillors have today appealed to Notting Hill Housing Trust and developer Annington Property Ltd to halt the evictions taking place at the former MOD-owned Sweets Way site, in order to give Barnet Homes more time to re-house the families living there.

The 79 families affected, who are being evicted to make way for luxury flats, include long-term temporary and emergency accommodation tenants who were placed at Sweets Way by Barnet council, and private renters.

Notting Hill Housing Trust and Barnet Council knew in November 2013 that the developer would need vacant possession of the site at the end of 2014 / beginning of 2015.

Barnet Homes has managed to re-house most of the families, but 25 families still remain in Sweets Way and are due to be evicted by the end of the week with no housing identified yet. They have been told that if they are not found accommodation they will have to present themselves as homeless at Barnet Homes’ offices.

Labour councillor for Underhill ward and Chipping Barnet parliamentary candidate, Amy Trevethan has written to Notting Hill Housing Trust and Annington Property Ltd calling for them to delay the evictions until Barnet Homes has found alternative accommodation for the remaining families.

In her letter Cllr Amy Trevethan said: "Dozens of households have had a last minute scramble to try to find alternative accommodation, and there have been reports of aggressive evictions. 

“Residents have told me that they feel the approach has been heavy-handed and disproportionate, and left them in considerable distress. It is evident that they feel badly let down. 

“The reports given to me by residents suggest that they have been treated in a way I find unacceptable. 

“Barnet Homes seem to be trying their best to find accommodation for residents but they appear to not have been properly prepared for this wave of evictions. I believe that, as the local housing authority, Barnet Homes, requires some breathing space to ensure that these residents can be offered suitable housing.  

“In light of the reports, and my representations, I am asking you to halt all eviction proceedings until adequate and acceptable alternative housing has been found for every household at Sweets Way.”

Ends.

Notes:

1. A copy of Cllr Trevethan’s email to Notting Hill Housing Trust and Annington Property Ltd: 

12th February 2015

For the attention of Kate Davies, Chief Executive, Notting Hill Housing and James Hopkins, the Chief Executive of Annington Property Ltd

cc. the Chief Executive of The Barnet Group, which incorporates Barnet Homes

Dear Ms Davies and Mr Hopkins 

RE: Sweets Way, Whetstone N20

Further to the news reports regarding the eviction of residents at Sweets Way to assist in the redevelopment of Sweets Way, Whetstone, it has become clear to me that something has gone very seriously wrong. Dozens of households have had a last minute scramble to try to find alternative accommodation, and there have been reports of aggressive evictions. Residents have told me that they feel the approach has been heavy-handed and disproportionate, and left them in considerable distress. It is evident that they feel badly let down. 

The reports given to me by residents suggest that they have been treated in a way I find unacceptable.

Barnet Homes seem to be trying their best to find accommodation for residents but they appear to not have been properly prepared for this wave of evictions. I believe that, as the local housing authority, Barnet Homes, requires some breathing space to ensure that these residents can be offered suitable housing. 

In light of the reports, and my representations, I am asking you to halt all eviction proceedings until adequate and acceptable alternative housing has been found for every household at Sweets Way.

Due to the urgency of this issue, I would appreciate a response as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Amy Trevethan

Labour Councillor for Underhill ward and Parliamentary Candidate for Chipping Barnet

London Borough of Barnet

 

For further details please contact:
Cllr Amy Trevethan: 07710383887 / cllr.a.trevethan@barnet.gov.uk  

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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