A housing co-operative threatened with eviction has issued a statement proposing alternatives to the council.
Carlton Mansions, a thirty-year-old short life housing co-operative, has suggested that “Lambeth consider working with us to make the building reasonably safe against fire. This means Lambeth will not have the additional burden of housing us, we shall continue to take care of the building…the cost to Lambeth will be set off by our council tax payments.”
The residents at Carlton Mansions want to stay in their homes for another 18-24 months, until the development at Somerleyton Rd is fully under way.
“We want Lambeth to consider alternatives to eviction, instead of aggressively pursuing it in every way they can,” says one co-op member. “All we’re asking is to be allowed to stay in our homes – and protect them – until the time when re-development begins.”
The council’s attempt to evict the housing co-operative rests on a fire assessment carried out in March, which declared the building at an ‘intolerable’ risk of fire.
Speaking to the Blog in May, Cllr Rachel Heywood said: “my preference is that we continue to work productively with CMHC to develop a good solution for the redevelopment of Somerleyton Road which includes CMHC. There is no reason why we cannot continue to do this, but nor can we ignore the gravity of the findings of the fire risk assessment. This has placed an urgent duty upon the council to vacate the building because of “intolerable” levels of risk.”
A report paid for by the co-operative found the risk to be tolerable.
In April, a judge deferred a hearing on the case and possession orders will now be heard in September. The council is also trying to bring injunctions against the residents, which will be heard at the same time.
The full statement by Carlton Mansions Housing Co-operative can be read here: CMHC STATEMENT