Protest with us on Friday 4th July, 3.30pm meeting at the front of Guinness Trust estate, Loughborough Park, SW9 8NL.
Residents of the Guinness Trust estate, Loughborough Park, are campaigning against so-called ‘social landlord’, Guinness Partnership, who have been making tenants on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (insecure tenancies) homeless as part of the ‘regeneration’ of the estate. Guiness Partnership will in total have made 150 households homeless by the end of the ‘regeneration’. Those that qualify for ‘help’ from Lambeth council face months of exile as Lambeth house hundreds outside the borough while they process their claim for homelessness.
Together, Guinness Trust estate residents, Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, and Lambeth Housing Activists are calling on Guinness Partnership to provide local, social housing for all residents faced with eviction and homelessness. We welcome you to get involved too! Why not contact Guinness Partnership expressing your concern at a ‘social landlord’ making people homeless, there contact details are here and you can tweet them here.
Keep your eyes on our blog for more news and updates, and get in contact if you’d like to get involved: haslemail[at]gmail.com
Guinness Trust estate is one of many estates across London being subjected to ‘regeneration’. Regeneration for who, though? For many residents and communities, this means eviction, homelessness, displacement, and the loss of desperately needed social housing. This quality article on the Brixton Blog includes residents of the Guinness Trust describing the impact of eviction on their lives. One person describes how they were admitted to hospital for four weeks after being evicted by Guinness Partnership. The residents describe how the regeneration is a process of social and ethnic cleansing.
Residents on the estate tried to organise together back in 2010 to have a say in the regeneration, but their attempts were frustrated by the Guinness Partnership who refused to acknowledge their tenants group and allow them use of the community centre. At one of the protests, the residents were threatened by the police and this also contributed to the end of the campaign. ‘9 Stories in Brixton’, a film made by the residents can be seen below. But the residents haven’t given up on their campaign, it’s starting up again.
A Guinness Trust AST resident has written to Lambeth council leader Lib Peck asking for her support for the rehousing of Guinness Trust AST residents by Guinness Parternship. Read her letter below
Dear Lib Peck,
Thank you for your email dated 28/5/2014
I would like to take this opportunity to give you a brief history of Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
More than ten years ago the Guinness Trust had an open waiting list. This meant that anyone could go on the list without having to be a social housing tenant.
The reasons were they had a stock/flats that were empty. Ten years ago people did not want to live in Brixton and so for desperate people that was an ideal solution. Guinness Trust applied for planning permission to regenerate the estate but it was refused on many occasions by Lambeth Council. However about 2 years ago the planning was suddenly approved and Guinness Trust started the regeneration of the estate.
Assured shorthold tenants were evicted regardless of the length of time they lived there. We lived in limbo knowing they will be removed us once the new beautiful houses are built and we could not get help until Guinness Trust decides to evict us . I have been waiting years for Guinness to evict me. In 2011 I wrote to Tessa Jowell and she has wrote to Guinness advising that they should decide soon and evict us as taking so long make it harder to seek help.However Guinness continue to make us wait and meanwhile are children have started school ,some of us have jobs in the area family,friends and community that we have to leave and uproot our children and lives.
I am an AST tenant and would like your assistance in resolving this issue for us. I believe Guinness Trust have a moral obligation to rehouse ASTs who have lived on the state for a long time. We believe we are a vital part of the community. Most of our children who were born on the estate and attend the local school will be uprooted.
I would like to understand why Lambeth Council agreed to the planning permission without having a proper follow-up plan in regards to what will happen to all ASTs ? why Lambeth is happy to put all ASTs on a long housing waiting list knowing it would be a huge burden on them?
Finally in 2011 after Lambeth approved the plans . Guinness trust started a huge regeneration which are divided to 3 phases .Guinness demolished 3 building and all the AST tenants were evicted and we continue for the other 2 remaining phases.
1. We would like Guinness Trust to set up a meeting with all AST tenants before Lambeth Living carry out their advise sessions .This is beneficial for all parties concern and prevent the rumours that some of AST have been re-housed by Guinness Trust
2. We also would like to find out about their reserved units i.e. their secure tenants have either passed away or have been transferred during the regeneration what happens to those units for example phase two have 95 social housing but Guinness have 40-50 secure tenants left to rehouse .
3. Nomination from the council what are the reasons that Guinness Trust does not advise AST to be nominated by Lambeth .Is that an option that we can explore?
4. The Guinness Trust is paying 4700 pounds while still claiming they have no moral, legal obligation .Why?
5. Finally we like to understand why is Lambeth Council not fighting or been pro- active and put pressure on Guinness to be accountable and transparent on how they are dealing with all the tenants that have children ,mental illness and disability. Is it in your best interest to resolve this issue? Instead of adding huge amount of people to your long waiting list .I believe Lambeth should support us and insist for Guinness Trust as a housing association to re-house people that consider priority case.