More than 60 members of Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth (HASL) organised a sit-in at the offices of Lambeth Council on 12th January, raising banners calling for “no more overcrowding”. They sat in for two and a half hours in support of a family of seven living in a one bedroom flat infested with mould. Medical knowledge links mould to breathing problems. An 11 month daughter of the family has been hospitalised six times with breathing difficulties.
The council has been unable to find alternative accommodation for the family. The lack of social housing and the housing crisis are having dire effects on London’s working class.
Following the protest Lambeth Council agreed to give greater priority access and promised a decision within two weeks.
Elizabeth Wyatt of HASL asked: “Why is Lambeth Council failing to use their powers to take on slum landlords and protect some of our borough’s most vulnerable people? The council have also had numerous warnings from medical professionals about the hazardous and life-threatening conditions of the property, but seem to be ignoring these. The council’s own housing policy allows for urgent re-housing in emergency situations like this but the council is refusing to implement their own policy. What are the family supposed to do? They cannot simply wait for their baby daughter to be hospitalised again.”
HASL stated that Lambeth Council failed to act following an environmental health inspection last summer on the mould and overcrowding at the property.
Direct action gets results!