Tomorrow, Monday 11th August, marks the due date for the first tranche of households to leave the Barham Park Estate under the premature Notice to Quit orders issued by Brent Community Housing (BCH).
It also marks the two week anniversary of the initial meeting between Senior Council Officers and BCH to negotiate an extension of the tenancies for the 42 affected households which would comply with the Council’s regeneration plans.
In an email to a resident dated 4th August, Cllr Margaret McLennan, Lead for Housing and Regeneration said:
” As previously stated, our senior Officers are in discussion with BCH. They know the Members view on this and have stated our grave concerns at their unilateral action. Nothing will happen while we are in discussion or beyond this. I promised I would update you once I had firm confirmation, and I shall.”
This is a very positive statement, and the residents of Barham Park gratefully acknowledge the efforts Cllr McLennan has put into resolving the situation.
Regrettably it does not allay the concerns of those who are due to move out: they have two primary issues:
1) That if they DO move out on the NTQ due date (s) they become “intentionally homeless”, and will lose any potential assistance from Brent’s Housing Options Team to find alternate accommodation;
2) If they DO NOT move out, and so engage in the legal eviction process to give them access to assistance from the Borough, under their current contracts BCH have no obligation to rehouse them.
The tenants have therefore sought clarification, asking if the NTQs have been suspended pending the outcome of the negotiations, and requesting “non-prejudicial” access to rehousing via BCH in this instance. This last point is particularly contentious as some of those involved in organising, and merely signing, the earlier petitions have reputedly been verbally informed they will not be rehoused. In fact to date none of the affected 42 households has been offered alternative accommodation.
It has been decided therefore to call a demonstration outside the BCH Offices to show the level of solidarity between the affected tenants, their neighbours and supporters with the intention of getting BCH to re-examine their current stance.
The demo will take place outside The Grange, Neasden Lane, NW10 1QB between 5pm and 6:15pm on Monday 11th August 2014. The Grange is located on the central roundabout at the top of Dudden Hill Lane and Neasden Lane (google maps shows the wrong building!). Nearest tube is Neasden on the Jubilee Line, a three minute walk away, and all bus routes through Neasden Junction stop nearby (182, 297).
Please do try to attend, but if you can’t you may wish to contact BCH with your thoughts by calling 020 7624 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.