Socialist Worker

London councils re-house families in ‘prison’ homes

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2528

The grim conditions

The grim conditions


Residents from the Boundary House temporary accommodation facility in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, held a protest last Friday.

Boundary House is being used to house whole families mainly from London in spaces designed for one person.

“It’s like being in prison,” Lily told Socialist Worker. “I was there for seven months. There were cockroaches.”

The protest was outside the offices of building management firm Theori Housing. Lily said, “I couldn’t shut my street door for three months and Theori ignored me.”

John Knight, the lead councillor for housing in Waltham Forest in east London, said that a degree of overcrowding was to be expected.

He later changed his tune to say that Boundary House meets Waltham Forest council’s requirements.Some 20 boroughs, mostly in London, use Boundary House as temporary accommodation for people they want to move out.

Social cleansing of working class people is gathering pace. But where people are organised they can beat the speculators and local politicians.

Elina was sent to Boundary House by Newham council. “It was me and three children in one room,” she told Socialist Worker. “When the washing machine broke they told me a washing machine is a luxury.”

Elina had to fight at every turn to get rehoused. When she did, Elina was moved to Essex through the Local Space housing association.

The campaign to shut down Boundary House and rehouse people still there continues.


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