Call to bring an end to the forced evictions of residents of Dorchester Court, Herne Hill.
This petition had 1,524 supporters
This is an open letter directed at Manaquel Company Limited and signed by residents of Dorchester Court, SE24.
There are many ongoing concerns and problems within the court regarding annual (above inflation) rent rises, lack of security for those residents who rent, service charges for leaseholders, and the long standing state of disrepair and neglect of this wonderful Grade II listed Court.
Regarding rent rises and evictions, there are numerous cases of Residents' contracts not being renewed and notice being given, following questioning of why their rent was being increased above inflation when, simultaneously, their properties were not being maintained and repaired as they should be, and indeed in some cases, certain parts of the properties were being condemned. This is, simply, unjust and forced eviction.
This particular open letter however is in direct support of one particular family: Helen Kinsey, Jason Collins and their two daughters. We (the signees) support this family in their fight against their pending forced eviction.
Helen and Jason are now amongst the longest standing current residents of Dorchester Court having lived here since 1994 and 1998 respectively. They have built a family here: they have two daughters (now aged 16 and 13), both of whom were born at home, in their flat.
Jason has been employed as the gardener of Dorchester Court since 2007. He does a sterling job, and there isn't a single member of the community who wouldn't agree that Dorchester Court is a brighter place thanks to his hard work. Not only does Jason tend to the garden but he also goes that extra mile to take care of the Court. Just one small example of this is when, in one month, three times a week, Jason kindly undertook the entire Court's bin collections using his personal car because the Caretaker/Cleaners' milk-float usually used for these collections had broken down. He was offered no additional renumeration for this additional work or for the use of his vehicle.
The whole family are very active and valued members of the community, and friends with many here. The entire family are regular contributors to the annual Dorchester Court garden parties, they all have many friends in the Court, and both the daughters can often be found babysitting for other families in the community.
Since living here, their rent has been increased, yet Jason's salary as gardener for the Court has not: a contradiction that makes the affordability of living here much harder for the family. Now, they are being evicted based on the need to "renovate" (something which is gradually happening across the Court, and not just within their particular flat - a flat which incidentally is one of the few with an original Grade II listed kitchen), however they have not been offered alternative accommodation by the landlord.
This is an unacceptable way to treat such long-standing, loving, caring, hard-working and valued members of the community who have not only built a family home here over the years, but also greatly contribute to the Court not only professional but also through ongoing community involvement. We the signees resist this action against them and support Helen, Jason and their daughters fully.
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