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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2022
Stop eviction of Camden homeless collective
Hostel under occupation Photo: Autonomous Winter Collective (Click to enlarge)
Nick Auvache, Unite housing workers
A collective of homeless people is facing eviction. They took over a disused hostel owned by One Housing Group (OHG). They have called a protest for 17 February.
Ironically, this building - in Clerkenwell, London - was initially owned by homelessness charity St. Mungo's. St Mungo's then sold it to OHG.
It is a scandal that such a resource, owned by organisations claiming to care about homelessness, has been unoccupied for so long, while people die on the streets. Official figures show that one homeless person dies every month in the London Borough of Camden. The reality is obviously higher.
The only contact that the occupants have received from OHG is the eviction order. Without any hint of irony, OHG's director for healthcare, Martin D'Mello, said: "One of our priorities... is helping to address London's growing problem with rough sleeping."
OHG claim that it wants to develop the building, which is good news. But this does not mean that they need to evict people.
If repairs require decanting the occupation, this should be done in consultation with the people who live there. When Unite housing workers and the Social Housing Action Campaign (Shac) visited the building, we were welcomed by residents.
They have repaired the bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Not only have they provided shelter for approximately 25 people, they also took additional homeless people in during the coldest winter nights.
Instead of being evicted, these people should be praised for the work they have done. OHG should make amends by speaking to the occupants.
Camden council should instruct OHG to reach an agreement with the residents, failing which the council should take over the building itself, and discuss directly how it can help the existing residents.
OHG behaviour comes as no surprise. OHG treats its workers and tenants with equal contempt.
- Protest outside OHG's main offices, 64 Pratt Street, NW1 0DL, Thursday 17 February, 12pm
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In The Socialist 16 February 2022:
What we think
Britain's economic growth figures mask fragile false recovery
'Labour by name - Tory by policy'
Covid: Fight for full sick pay
Met police boss ousted
Tory stealth taxes burden 'packhorse generation'
Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington
'Stand together and fight'
Neither Washington, London nor Moscow
Australian nurses strike against understaffing and low pay
Birmingham Erdington by-election
Campaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election
From our history: 1972 miners' strike
PCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership
Barts NHS strike
NEU strike at girls' school chain over pensions
University workers striking back
"If we don't fight, we won't win!"
Just Eat strike spreads and forces concessions
Join the scaffs mass picket at Scunthorpe steelworks
Worksop Wincanton workers win pay rise after strike
West Sussex care campaigners' victory
Why I'm going to Socialist Students conference
Campaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen
Stop eviction of Camden homeless collective
East Sussex: Poverty and cuts bring people to Socialist Party
Save St Mary's Leisure Centre
Fund us to fight for socialism
TV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'
TV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'
How Cardiff Bay's redevelopment led to 'social cleansing'
The Socialist 16 February 2022 |
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