Greens expose big rise in Hackney evictions

Colville Estate Hackney London 260814 © David Altheer

EVICTIONS OF Hackney council tenants have risen by more than a third. Figures obtained from Freedom of Information requests by the Green Party show that 98 people behind on their rent were thrown out of their flats between April 2013 and April 2014 compared with 61 the year before.

Total evictions in Hackney were 108 in 2013-2014, up from 72 the previous year. The Greens see this as a result of arrears stemming from government welfare reforms.

The Green Party has been trying hard in the run-up to next year’s general election to show it is not a single-issue campaigner and Charlotte George, of Hackney Greens, said: “These welfare reforms are hitting the poorest and the most vulnerable in our communities.

“We are further increasing the gap between the wealthy and the rest by ghettoising and victimising people who need help with paying the ridiculous rents in Hackney.”

The bedroom tax and the benefit cap were introduced by the Coalition Government in April 2013.

George said the Green Party would fight for a citizen’s wage. She added: “Rent controls should be introduced across London. Only then will we see our society mending the schism between the haves and have-nots.”

Hackney Councillor Philip Glanville (handout)
Glanville: “Last resort”

For Hackney council, which is taking housing back from Hackney Homes, Councillor Philip Glanville told Loving Dalston: “Eviction is always a last resort, and Hackney Homes and Hackney council have  services to help residents struggling to pay their rent… we have a dedicated welfare reform team to support residents through the changes to benefits.

“No Hackney Homes evictions were carried out in 2013-2014 solely as a result of welfare reforms. Evictions were due to historical arrears, tenancy fraud or other issues.

“Hackney Labour [the party with the majority on the council] remains resolutely opposed to the bedroom tax.”

Hamish Scott 211014

* Top: social housing in the south of the borough. Loving Dalston is not suggesting that any occupants of the flats pictured have been involved in rent or other disputes.

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