First tenants to move into squatted Rushcroft Road flats

EVICTION BRIXTON: Evictions in Rushcroft Road in 2013 turned violent.
The evictions of squatters in Rushcroft Road in 2013 turned violent.

The first tenants are set to move into the flats once occupied by squatters on Rushcroft Road, Brixton.

In July 2013 there were violent clashes between protesters and the bailiffs forcibly removing squatters from the six blocks of Victorian flats on the street.

At the time one resident said: “This has been our home for 13 years….we have put in the work to make the flats liveable when they left them to rot – now there’s money coming into the area they want them back.”

Lambeth council said the evictions were necessary to clear the “unlawful” tenants. 

Now, after a thorough refurbishment, 22 flats with two-bedrooms have been made available at council rent levels in Rushcroft Road.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I’m delighted that on Monday tenants will be handed the keys to some of the first new council homes in Brixton in a generation. These are lifetime council homes at proper social rents, being made available to local families in housing need.

Left: after the evictions. Right: after the refurbishment
Left: after the evictions. Right: after the refurbishment

“There are now 21,000 people on Lambeth’s waiting list and homelessness has risen over the last year with about 1800 families now living in temporary accommodation.

“While the Government and the Mayor are failing to build the homes that local people need we are committed as an administration to 1000 extra homes for council rent over the next four years.”

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Streatham, said: “Over the last few years, hundreds of families in housing co-ops have been pushed out of their homes by Lambeth Council. This is something it continues to do. The £78m that the council has made from these sales to developers has not been reinvested in housing and council housing waiting lists have grown.

22 new flats is equivalent to throwing a few crumbs to local residents, while developers continue to have a banquet. Meanwhile the hundreds of new buy-to-let properties, which used to be in council-owned co-ops, will push up rents and exacerbate the local housing crisis.”

The flats were refurbished by the council’s housing management firm Lambeth Living who worked with contractors Pellings and Thomas Sinden.

The work cost an £1.3 million more than originally thought due to “unforseen structural defects.”


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