Online action – social housing for Temi and her kids! Contact Southwark council to show your support

Join us on Tuesday 16th December by emailing Southwark’s head of homelessness Ian Swift to show your support for much needed social housing for Temi and her kids. Feel free to use the template letter at the end of this blog or write your own email to Ian Swift. Ian.swift@southwark.gov.uk cc christopher.underwood@southwark.gov.uk and us on haslemail@gmail.com

Temi and her kids have been stuck in poor quality temporary accommodation for almost four years now.

Southwark council offered Temi unsuitable social housing which she could not access. When she refused this, they declared her ‘intentionally homeless’ and the family were evicted from temporary accommodation with no support from the housing office to find alternative accommodation.

During this process, Temi was subjected to racial abuse by one member of the housing staff who was reviewing Temi’s case. The person told Temi ‘as a Nigerian, you should be able to live anywhere…I have seen many Nigerians living ten in a room’. Temi clearly did not have a fair review process with this person involved.

Temi and HASL visited the town hall to speak to the head of homelessness Ian Swift about her situation and to ask for a suitable offer of much needed secure, social housing (which the council should have done in the first place!). Ian Swift refused to listen to her and called the police on Temi and the group to have us evicted from the town hall.

Ian Swift has refused to meet us as we requested in the letter we sent him to discuss and resolve this situation.

Temi has been forced to search for private rented accommodation but has been unable to find any in her home borough or even in London.  Southwark housing office and social services have provided no help to Temi to find decent private rented accommodation near to her children’s schools, their community and Temi’s workplace.

We say enough – Temi and her children need suitable, secure, social housing now! Email Ian Swift in support of Temi to show that she is not alone, and that we won’t tolerate the disrespect and mistreatment Temi has been subjected to. Southwark council were the one’s at fault offering unsuitable social housing, they need to make this right with an offer of suitable, secure, social housing.

Dear Ian Swift,

I am emailing in support of Temi and Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth to request an adequate response to the email they sent you last week. They requested a meeting with yourself to fully resolve Temi’s situation with a suitable offer of secure social housing for the family. After almost 4 years in poor quality temporary accommodation it is clear that secure, social housing for the family is vital. On top of this, Temi has been subjected to mistreatment, including racial abuse by one staff member.

Temi has attempted to find decent private housing in the borough near to school, community networks and work but has been unable to find somewhere. Southwark council have offered no help to Temi to find decent private housing in the borough.

Temi and her family have had many years of insecure poor quality housing. The last couple of months, where she has been threatened with eviction by social services whilst she has struggled to find private rented accommodation, have been particularly difficult for the family. The situation cannot continue like this. Southwark council must offer proper support to get secure housing in the borough for the family immediately. Please contact Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth about the situation as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely,

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