Islington Park Street residents protest outside One Housing office
PUBLISHED: 18:17 03 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:17 03 July 2015
A “family” fighting to stay in their home of 39 years took the battle to the doorstep of those threatening to evict them today.
Residents of a group home in Islington Park Street waved placards, played instruments and sang songs outside the offices of One Housing Group (OHG) in Camden.
The home is made up of 18 tenants aged 19 to 79, a mixture of those with care needs and professionals who are experienced in helping and looking after the most vulnerable members of society.
OHG have served the community with a notice to quit which expires on Sunday (July 5) and are then expected to take legal action to have the 18 residents removed from the property.
They say the property, which could be worth up to £12million, could need as much as £1m in repairs while they also have concerns over whether residents care needs are being met and over the selection process used to find new tenants.
They have also claimed that they do not know who is living at the property.
On Thursday last week Islington Council passed an emergency motion to write to OHG and ask them to cancel the notice to quite and open a dialogue with residents.
Peter Kesurue, 50, has lived in the Islington Park Street community for 11 years, he said: “Everyone is calling on OHG to suspend the notice to quit and engage in dialogue.
“They say we need to meet with regulations, well surely we can speak about that.
“They’re trying to pit us against each other. Some of us are obviously more needy than others, obviously they’re going to be rehoused. But many of us won’t be.
“40 per cent of people living in social housing have lived there for 10 years or more, 20 per cent have a full time job.
“By their logic you would turf them all out and start again. You can’t just dismember our community, we’re a family.”
The Green Party’s Cllr Caroline Russell, who was at the protest, said: “One Housing got this property for £1, You can’t just sell people’s homes from under them.
“Rather than evicting them they should be proud of this as a model, self sufficient, affordable community.”