TENANTS and leaseholders are protesting in Tyrrel Way, West Hendon, north London from 7am today, against the eviction threat to 250 families from the West Hendon Estate.
The ‘Our West Hendon’ campaign says: ‘Barnet Council, Barratts and Metropolitan Housing have betrayed our trust and are determined to evict over 90% of our community.
‘Our whole community is being destroyed because Barratts say it is not financially viable to rehouse us on our estate, despite their pre-tax profits having doubled this year.
‘These corporations and bureaucrats have shown no honesty, respect or compassion for our community, their only interest is profit at any human cost.
‘Many of us are making a stand. We are not alone in our struggle. This is happening on around 40 estates across London and the fightback has begun.
‘These are not just “investment opportunities”. These are our homes, our memories, our friends, our neighbours. These are our lives. This is our community, this is Our West Hendon.’
Mitzi Hendy, a secure tenant, told News Line yesterday: ‘They want to evict 250 non-secure tenants round here but we’re a strong community and we’re all standing up for each other.
‘They are building four tower blocks on York Memorial Park, one of them 36 storeys high, blighting the area and these are all flats for sale, so they are not for us, not that I would want to live in them anyway.
‘We are being shepherded into new flats they are building in what used to be the car park in Perryfield Way.
‘These are going to be smaller, you will be able to hear everything going on next door, overshadowed by the tower blocks, and no natural light.
‘Nobody has been given a proposed rent, so we don’t even know if we can afford to live in them or not. This is the gentrification of a working class estate by the council, by Barratts and Metropolitan Housing Association. They don’t want council tenants, they don’t want anybody on benefits.
‘We’ve been fighting for the last 12 years. There are 700 homes on the estate. They are demolishing them and want to build 2000 – 1494 private, 506 “affordable”.
‘Only 25% affordable homes are being built on the development because Barratts say it is not financially viable to provide the 40% recommended in any new development in
‘The last couple of weeks we’ve been having demonstrations, holding up lorries and not letting them have access. But the police were brought in and they stayed around until we more or less dispersed.
‘We are having another demonstration on Wednesday. We have only done half-day demostrations so far, but this is an all-dayer.
‘We are going to block the access so the lorries cannot get in and out. They are all doing what the hell they like and enough is enough.
‘We’ve always been strong-knit community and we’re all in the same boat, whether we are leaseholders, tenants, secure or unsecure, it doesn’t matter. These are our homes and we’re fighting for them.’