Rushcroft Road squatters have been told that they must leave their homes later this month, in the latest eviction story to hit Brixton in recent weeks.
There has been a slew of news relating to evictions in Brixton this week, from the shooting of a man and woman evicting a resident who hadn’t paid his arrears, to the story of basketball hero Jimmy Rogers.
The residents squatting at Rushcroft Road have been told that they will be evicted from July 15, though the exact date has not been made public.
A group of 75 squatters have now set up Eviction Brixton, to protest the move by the council. Many of them have lived in their homes for decades, some are families.
On their tumblr site, the residents have written: “Now we are being ripped out of our homes to make space for ‘corporate clients’. Foxton’s will charge people upwards of £2000/week to stay in our flats and/or they will sell them for half a million pounds.”
“…We have watched them [Lambeth Council] sell off, bit by bit, all properties from previous evictions on Rushcroft Road, Clifton Mansions and a large proportion of Brixton’s original short life housing. They will do the same to these flats. Central Brixton will be gentrified – and those who are already here (like us) be pushed out.”
Cllr Pete Robbins, cabinet member for housing and regeneration, said: “We are taking this action because it is unfair on the thousands of residents in need of housing in Lambeth that a small minority are unlawfully squatting in six mansion blocks on Rushcroft Road and not paying any rent or council tax.”
The council has held housing advice surgeries for the squatters to “understand their housing need, and provide advice and assistance on how that household can secure accommodation in future.”
Cllr Robbins confirmed that once an eviction takes place some of the flats would be used for social-rented housing, while the rest will be sold privately. “Following the eviction of the unauthorised occupants, three of the six blocks in Rushcroft Road will be sold, with proceeds used to bring the remaining three blocks back into use as 22 new homes for social rent.” This is two less homes than the council had promised last year.
The Eviction Brixton group is holding an ‘anti-gentrification event’ tomorrow at Windrush Square from 2pm to talk about evictions and gentrification in Brixton. There will be an art auction to raise money for the eviction fund, along with music and a protest.