Upper Norwood families facing homelessness cling to hope
Four families facing homelessness after the police asked for their flats back hope they have been handed a lifeline by Croydon Council.
The families are being evicted from their flats in Southbank, Grange Road in Upper Norwood, which are owned by the Metropolitan Police, on October 30.
The block is currently leased to Crown Housing Association, but the lease is due to expire this year and the police will take back control of the land in December.
Five families have already moved from the block after finding alternative housing, but the four remaining families say they cannot afford to move into privately rented properties.
Croydon Council is looking into the possibility of buying the block, and residents have vowed to apply for a stay of execution that would secure them a further 42 days in their homes. They hope the extra time will enable the council to make progress with the purchase.
Tina Hussein, 57, who lives with her husband and granddaughter, has lived at Southbank for 20 years.
She said: “The council is not going to put us in social housing, it is going to put us in private housing, which I can’t afford.
“I’ve said to the council why can’t it just buy it? It is good to hear it is considering it, but this situation is very scary, if we don’t get the 42 days we will be homeless.”
Lisa Hodgson, 46, has lived at the block for 14 years with her twin daughters.
She said: “We see a glimmer of hope, but we are desperate now. This is now down to the wire, but it is our home and worth fighting for.
“We want to live here and if the council buys it, five new families could be moved in here, which helps the housing crisis.”
Councillor Pat Ryan of Upper Norwood ward, said he was pleased the council was considering buying the block.
A spokesman for Croydon Council said it was looking at the possibility of buying the block, but declined to comment further.
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