Mother and child face eviction!

EVELYN, holding her daughter, with neighbour FELICIA on the Heygate estate
EVELYN, holding her daughter, with neighbour FELICIA on the Heygate estate

HEYGATE Estate tenant Evelyn Amahian is facing eviction this Wednesday, putting her on the street with her young daughter!

The Heygate Estate in south London is threatened with demolition as part of a Southwark Council ‘regeneration’ scheme with private developers at the Elephant and Castle.

The scheme means getting rid of 1,200 council homes and their tenants.

Now remaining Heygate tenants who were initially assured they would be moved to new homes are being threatened with eviction if they do not find alternative accommodation this year.

Evelyn told News Line yesterday: ‘I received a letter last week saying that they are going to come and evict me this Wednesday, so I should be ready for them.

‘I don’t have anywhere to go and I have a two-year-old daughter.

‘I have asked the council to rehouse me and they have refused, but in the court the judge asked: What is going to happen to this woman, are you going to throw her out on the streets? – and the council replied they were working to rehouse me in other temporary accommodation.

‘Since then I have tried to contact my housing officer and he never responds.

‘I don’t have anywhere else to go. I want to be rehoused.

‘I want them to move me to suitable accommodation, but if they evict me I will be homeless.’

She added: ‘I have lived here for over two years.

‘I should be treated as a secure tenant.

‘Everyone should have the right to a roof over their head.

‘I don’t think I have been treated fairly.

‘Someone who has lived in temporary accommodation for two years should deserve suitable accommodation.

‘If they want me to move, then they should leave me here until they find suitable alternative accommodation for me.

‘I’m not in arrears. I pay my rent regularly.

‘I’m going to see a lawyer in the County Court on Monday.

‘I think it’s really criminal to leave a woman like me with a young child out on the streets.’

She also said that even though she has been paying her rent, she has had to suffer whilst her home on Heygate has been left in disrepair.

She said: ‘In 2008, this place was flooded and nothing has been done about the damage to the kitchen since then and the housing officer has been here several times.

‘When I moved in here, my kitchen window wasn’t properly secured and the council didn’t fix it and I was burgled and lost lots of things.

‘I still pay my rent and yet the council is not rehousing me, they want to just come and evict me, throwing me out on the streets.’

Her neighbour Felicia Aseme said: ‘This isn’t regeneration. This is rubbish. This is destroying people’s lives, it is destroying families, tearing them apart and now just taking people to court.

‘It’s like they say, “Oh, I will see you in court, the court will give an order to evict you’’. It’s just as if they were going shopping!

‘What they want us to believe is that we are nobody to the system.

‘Just stop! What will it take to rehouse Evelyn and her daughter? She’s not asking to live in the Queen’s palace, she is just asking for a place to live!’

Other Heygate tenants were also angry when they heard about the threatened eviction of Evelyn.

Anita Barnett said: ‘I think it’s disgusting the way we’ve been treated on Heygate estate.’

Mary Mewitt said: ‘I’ve never known them to throw out anyone as long as they pay their rent.

‘They always rehouse people, even if it’s in a hostel.

‘I’ll help to stop her being evicted. What are they going back to – the workhouse?!’

Chris Eames, from the South-East London Council of Action, said: ‘We will stop Evelyn from being evicted.

‘We think it is a serious crime to evict a mother and her young child and leave her on the streets to fend for herself.

‘The working class cannot allow this to happen.

‘We must defend council housing and we call on all the local trade unions in Southwark to demonstrate with us on Wednesday to stop the eviction taking place.

‘This is a fight for council housing against the privatisation of estates which is denying thousands of people places to live when there should be a programme to build a million new council homes straight away.’