At a recent Ealing Council cabinet meeting (6 December 2023), Ealing Liberal Democrats raised concerns that residents living in developments which have been described as “shipping container hell” by those who live there will not be rushed out before finding suitable accommodation.
In November, a council spokesperson said: “Although the council will be looking to move people out before Christmas into alternative accommodation, we do not anticipate any households being evicted before Christmas for rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.”
Following a question by Ealing Liberal Democrat leader and Councillor Gary Malcolm, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, Cabinet Member for Safe and Genuinely Affordable Homes said: “I wanted to make sure we do that in an empathetic, sympathetic way, and that we show flexibility and we’re doing so in a supportive manner. And that’s exactly how we’re doing that. So, I know that a number of families have already been made offers, they’re very, very happy with those offers.”
Councillor Mahfouz added: “But you know, if there are any issues that we need to take into account in terms of people’s needs, if they’re happy to wait longer until we’re able to find that type of accommodation for them, or if we need to, if they have to move twice if need be, then you know, then all of those things, all of those options are on the table because we know that we need to make sure that we’re putting those family’s needs first and foremost.”
Following the cabinet meeting, Councillor Malcolm said: “The Liberal Democrats have been shocked by how bad residents have been treated and how unsafe their conditions are. We have pushed the Council to take action to move all of these residents into a more safe and secure housing.”
He added: “Some families will find it difficult to move quickly so they need more time to find a suitable form of Council housing. Liberal Democrats do not want to see any of the residents of Marston and Meath Courts to be made homeless or pushed into unsuitable accommodation.”