Housing Action Southwark & Lambeth seem like a really sound local group, consistently doing the kind of unglamourous grassroots organising that can make a real difference to people’s lives. They’re currently in the middle of a dispute with Lambeth council over the council’s refusal to provide adequate secure housing for one of their members, Mary Luz, and you can read a full description of the case here.
So, we’re asking for your help. Every attempt to make Lambeth Council accountable for their actions so far has been met with misdirection and an unwillingness to justify or explain their actions. We’re hoping that if we can demonstrate just how many of us find this kind of treatment intolerable, we can convince Lambeth Council to take notice of this serious case, and hopefully the huge number of similar cases we know others are facing.
Join us this Monday 4th April in creating a Twitter and email storm between 10am-12pm (but feel free to start before and continue after!). We’re asking people to Tweet Lib Peck (@cllrpeck) and Lambeth Council (@lambeth_council). We’re using the hashtag #AnswersAndAction to help keep a track of them. We’ve included some sample tweets below which will easily allow you to register your frustration and anger:
We’d also like people to email Lib Peck and Chris Knaggs demanding answers. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com – we’d also invite people to cc us in to your emails using firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve drafted a template email at the end of this blogpost that you can send . Again, please feel free to amend or adjust as suits you, but if you wish to write your own email, please do make sure you check the link to the full account of Mary-Luz’s case first.
We hope that Lib Peck and Lambeth Council will respond. We will be showing our support for Mary Luz and her family with an action outside Olive Morris House this Thursday 7th April meeting there at 2pm. Bring things to make noise with! Children very welcome too – we’ll be planning some kids activities!
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Why is Mary Luz and her family suffering from Lambeth’s neglect?
I’m writing to you today out of concern for Mary Luz and her family, who faced gatekeeping by Lambeth Council which had extremely serious consequences and then were housed out-of-borough in unsuitable temporary accommodation far away from school, local doctors and support networks.
It has been almost a year since Mary Luz first approached Lambeth Council for housing assistance and was unlawfully turned away. Her family were living in severely overcrowded and unsuitable housing. Mary Luz deserves answers for this treatment, and I believe she has a right to hear them. I would like answers to the following questions.
Why did Lib Peck / Lambeth Council not take seriously the neglect by her staff that Mary Luz experienced at the housing office, Why did she not feel the need to make enquiries into the complaints and issues we have raised, and why is she not acting to make sure the family have the suitable local housing they need?
Is Lib Peck / Lambeth Council satisfied with the actions of housing staff who unlawfully gatekept Mary Luz, and which resulted in Mary Luz facing actual physical harm in the unsuitable housing that Lambeth staff sent her to return to?
Is Lib Peck / Lambeth Council satisfied with the decision to house the family out of their home borough in unsuitable temporary accommodation (Mary Luz is registered as blind and has been sent to an area she does not know, and the welfare and schooling of her children has not been taken into consideration either) when they should have been given local social housing back in May last year?
Is Lib Peck / Lambeth Council satisfied with the housing office’s failure to properly open up a homeless application and to do a proper assessment regarding the suitability of temporary accommodation?
I look forward to hearing your response.
Please spread the word, and don’t forget to drop Lambeth council a line to let them know your views.