Stop Rent Exploitation Affordable Rent is not affordable
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I am a single mother with two wonderful young boys. I have always worked and been able to support my family financially. But in 2015 my landlord, Guinness Partnership, a housing association and social landlord, demolished my home of 10 years on the Loughborough Park Estate. After a long legal battle and many protests led by myself and my neighbours, Guinness agreed they have an obligation to re-house all of the residents they were making homeless. But unfortunately this agreement came with many conditions attached.
My rent changed from ‘social rent’ to ‘affordable rent’. This allowed the Guinness Partnership to increase my rent from £109 per week to £262 per week for a 2-bedroom flat. With nowhere for us to go I was forced to take the offer. If I had refused I would have been deemed by the local authority, Lambeth Council, to have made my family intentionally homeless, and they would have had no duty to re-house me.
Guinness Partnership have already:
1) Demolished my home of 10 years;
2) Increased my rent by 240 per cent;
3) Taken away my ability to support my family financially;
4) Driven me onto the benefits system in order to pay my rent.
But that’s not all.
Trying to get away from the poverty and bullying that comes from claiming benefits, I recently started working in a coffee shop. This has resulted in all my benefits being suspended as the wheels of the Department of Work and Pensions re-assesses my claim in order to work out what portion of my new earnings I can keep. While they do, I have fallen into arrears on my rent. As a consequence of this, I have received notice from the Guinness Partnership that, on 7 March this year, they will, for the second time, be evicting my family from our home.
In all this unjust treatment of my family, what stands out most is that my so-called 'affordable rent' is at least £100 per week more than my neighbours on the new estate, who have the same tenancy status. My landlord has refused to explain why.
My demands to the Guinness Partnership are simple.
Stop the eviction of my family from our home, and bring our rent in line with that of my neighbours, so that I may continue to live there and rebuild the life you destroyed when you demolished our first home.
Please sign our petition and ask the Guinness Partnership to treat all their tenants the same.
- The Guinnness Partnership
Stop Rent Exploitation
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