Friday, 27 February 2015

Residents warned against signing contract to make them leave their homes

Council accused of intimidation as leader begs government for help

Hammersmith & Fulham Council has been accused of attempting to intimidate tenants into leaving their homes to make way for the 8,000-home Earl’s Court regeneration scheme.

Lawyers acting for the West Kensington and Gibbs Green tenants’ and residents’ associations last month sent an urgent letter to 750 households advising residents against signing a ‘secure tenant contract’. The contract was issued days earlier by a new, council-backed rival residents’ group and was endorsed by the authority’s Conservative leader Stephen Greenhalgh.

The contract promises tenants compensation and a new home if they give up their homes as part of the multi-billion pound landmark west London scheme. The council argues that it’s not legally binding but the tenants associations’ lawyers have advised residents that it could be.

Jonathan Rosenberg, a housing campaigner advising the tenants’ and residents’ association, said issuing the contracts was ‘a desperate attempt by the council to intimidate them’.

The associations want to use proposed ‘right-to-own’ regulations to take over the ownership and management of the stock.

Mr Greenhalgh has made a personal plea to the government to prevent the regulations from scuppering the demolition. In a letter to the Conservative decentralisation minister, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, he urges Greg Clark to ban tenant-led stock transfers in regeneration areas. It ends with a handwritten note: ‘P.S. I really need your help on this!’ (see above). Mr Clark’s response stated: ‘The secretary of state will take account of all relevant considerations.’

A council spokesperson said the contracts were sent out because residents asked for reassurances they will get new homes.

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Readers' comments (7)

  • Chris

    Please Minister, take my tenants' rights away so I can do what I want, not what they prefer - what a disgrace!

    Stalin would be proud - although would have shot someone by now.

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  • Rick Campbell

    Housing staff , councils, politicans, IH posters, newspapers, spokescreatures, DWP, etc., etc. 'intimidating' tenants -- not in my wildest nightmares!!! We'll all have to wear big yellow badges next to single us out from other people?

    The words "Germany", the 1930s" and "nazis" easily spring to mind as a warning rather than as a statement.

    Demonising sections of society says more about the demonisers rather than the demonised?

    Social housing tenants do not deserve to be treated as humans

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  • Rick Campbell

    The word "DISCUSS?" was missed off my previous posting. It should read:

    Social housing tenants do not deserve to be treated as humans. DISCUSS?

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  • Ivana Hart

    Do check out the Greenhalgh letter Jpeg in the IH link above. It's clearly leaked from central government as the "DCLG Received" stamp indicates. The H&F motto of "putting residents first" is truly laughable given the content of this begging letter to the Minister concerned is actually all about putting the interests of residents well and truly last.

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  • I think the article makes it clear that the letter was released as the result of an FOI request, and not leaked.

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  • Peter Wicks


    Cardboard Street

    Look in your city
    Your town or your street
    Look for the cardboard
    That rises at night
    To shelter the homeless
    On a cold windy night

    From all walks of life
    Theses box dwellers come
    The sick in the mind
    The frail and the weak
    Cardboard and paper
    Are homes they all keep?

    Cornflake or Porridge
    As long as it fits
    Their bodies at night
    In the parks or the streets
    They line them with paper
    As much as they find
    And pray to their god
    That the weather is kind

    The drip of the rain
    The roar of the wind
    The sound of their heart-beat
    When huddled within
    Sleep is not easy
    On a cold winters night
    When the frost and the snow
    Threaten frostbite.

    Night air is bitter
    When craving for sleep
    Especially when raining
    And the box starts to leak

    The box is all-soggy
    And falling apart
    Time to move on
    And find a new home
    Of cardboard and paper
    And a cold pavement stone.

    Now the sickest of the sick councils
    I venting its vile spleen on the most vulnerable
    In our society by trying to trick them
    To leave their homes so the super rich
    Can build their penthouses
    This reminds me of why I wrote this one
    Dame Shirley Porter was doing the self same
    Thing with her Gerrymandering in Westminster.

    Peter 1987 (She did a runner to Israel)

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  • Peter Wicks

    I forgot...I had posted something about this on the Guardian and Face book......

    This government is the sickest I have ever seen in my 74 years on this poxed up planet, the Eaton Mafia and Don Cameron of the Westminster Mob are just about to overtake "The Maggot" in their quest to become the countries greatest disaster.........a pox on all of their houses and may they suffer the pains of hell....

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