Eighteen families made homeless in Eltham after short notice HMO eviction

Image courtesy Cllr Pat Pacelli – Greenwich Council Cabinet Member for Housing

Eighteen families have been evicted from their homes in Eltham at short notice and left homeless.

A HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) housing round 40 people owned by a private landlord saw bailiffs arrive forcing families and residents into the street at Court Road without any apparent warning.

Greenwich Council scrambled to assist the families with the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing Pat Pacelli stating rent was taken from tenants when the landlord knew eviction was coming.

Another councillor Lauren Dingsdale (Labour – Eltham Town and Avery Hill) stated: “The landlord had taken £1000s from them in the last two weeks knowing they were going to be evicted. Children and babies made homeless.”

A bus was laid on to drive those evicted to rest centre.

Housing crises

Not only is this episode extremely distressing for residents which now places their work life, schooling and social ties in a state of upheaval but also costs taxpayers heavily.

Greenwich Council – like all others – simply lack any spare council houses for those evicted. As covered many times homeless households in the borough have risen exponentially in recent years.

These families will now join 1,880 others in a state of not knowing what the future holds as life is put on hold.

The rise is up from 443 in 2015/16 as this extract below taken from a 2022 Greenwich Council report shows.

Homeless household numbers in Greenwich borough. Numbers now at 1,880

In October 2023 a Greenwich Council report showed that numbers are still rising sharply and now stand at 1,880 with vast costs being incurred.

Limited housing, high rents and few rights

A shortage of council housing due to limited building for decades and right to buy means many now live in extremely expensive private rentals or emergency accommodation – which is costing both residents in high rents and the taxpayer vast sums in support.

Rather than supporting the building of low-cost homes to any sufficient degree, Conservative government policy is actively helping landlords profit from a housing shortage with taxpayers picking up the bill.

Councils can simply not keep up, and lack funding to build at levels needed.

Without any reform of how private landlords operate ( reform again seems kicked into the long grass again by the Conservative government despite it being a manifesto commitment) as well as limited housebuilding, private landlords will continue to make large sums at the expense of private tenants and taxpayers.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

4 thoughts on “Eighteen families made homeless in Eltham after short notice HMO eviction

  • The address is actually 28 Court Yard SE9, building was once a hotel. Good work by Greenwich Council though

    Reply
  • I was really sad to read this story. My heart goes out to the families involved. Why were the tenants not aware of their pending eviction? Why did the landlord not inform them? Landlords have a responsibility and duty of care to their tenants.
    Well done to Greenwich Council for stepping up and also providing transport to get the residents to a centre.

    Reply
  • Apologies, building was formerly a doctors’ surgery, not a hotel.

    There was a piece about this on the BBC local news last night. An ex-resident said that they had received text messages at 10pm the previous evening notifying them of the proposed eviction.

    A statement from the landlords was read out claiming that they had wanted to give more notice but had been prevented from doing so.

    Lauren Dingsdale and Pat Slattery are promoting a narrative of “owners bad, Council good” but I wonder whether there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    Reply
    • @Garyj: ‘… owners bad.’ Since ‘the landlord had taken £1000s from them in the last two weeks knowing they were going to be evicted’ I would say so. Further, I don’t imagine that a house crammed with up to 40 people was a legal house of multiple occupation.

      Reply

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