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Ealing Council confirms residents in shipping container homes to be moved “out before Christmas into alternative accommodation”

Following its decision to decommission shipping container housing developments Meath Court in Acton and Marston Court in Hanwell, Ealing Council says it expects residents to be moved into alternative accommodation before Christmas.

The housing has previously been described as “shipping container hell” by those who live there and housing developments Meath Court in Acton and Marston Court in Hanwell.

Earlier this week, EALING.NEWS published a letter one resident wrote to Ealing Council about how she and others have been treated over the way in which Labour-run Ealing Council is arranging temporary accommodation for them and how the council “dehumanises” them.

An Ealing Council spokesperson addressed two questions from EALING.NEWS over the situation at Meath Court and Marston Court.

On the question of residents being told it is to be decommissioned by end of year/early next year, an Ealing Council spokesperson said: “The lease at Meath Court ends in June 2024 and the council has taken the decision not to renew the lease. To ensure that the building is vacated by June actions has been taken now. As well as finding alternative accommodation, the council will need to complete any repairs before handing the units back to the supplier.

“Through the experience of using the units over a number of years, the quality of the units at Meath and Marston Court is not in line with the standard of accommodation that the council wishes to provide. As a result the council has taken the decision to return the units at Marston to QED and seek to provide different forms of temporary accommodation.

“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.”

On the question on the dates of moving out and what type of accommodation will be offered to residents, a council spokesperson said: “Most residents will be found alternative accommodation in a different form of temporary accommodation, and a limited number of households will secure a tenancy with the council or a housing association. We anticipate this process to be rolling over the next few months.”

Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats has raised concerns over the way residents have been treated. He told EALING.NEWS: “Liberal Democrat Councillors have received a number of calls from residents from Marston Court and Meath Court who are clearly not happy at all. The process and communication for the decommissioning appears to be heavy handed and leaving many residents feeling totally lost when they have contacted the council for assistance.”

He added: “Many of the residents from both Courts have felt in fear of their lives at times with the severe levels of anti-social behaviour over the last year or more. Liberal Democrats forced the council to hold a special meeting about the decommissioning but when they only allowed 30 minutes of discussion, without residents having a chance to have their say, this shows how Labour really do not care as they have had years to sort the issues out. Liberal Democrats are having to help, advise and support some of these residents and hopefully the council does the right thing belatedly.”

Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds is also concerned by the situation. He told EALING.NEWS: “It is welcome that the council is moving families before Christmas from accommodation they have known to be totally unsuitable for months. Just as important is where residents will be moved to. They deserve a safe and secure home, and the council must do everything in its power to ensure this.”

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