Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Call to help family resist eviction tomorrow morning

A call has gone out to local housing actvists to help the Caridades family who are faced with eviction. Supporters should go to 4A Harrow Road (close to junction with North Circular) HA9 6PG at 8am tomorrow.

Kazuri Properties, a social housing group, have launched a crowd funding initiative on IndieGOGo LINK to help the family.

According to Kazuri Properties this is the background:
 Kazuri Properties came across the Caridade family after one of our Directors, met the teacher of one of Ms Caridade's children at a Mindfulness event in London. She was deeply upset and moved by their plight, so we at Kazuri stepped in to help by finding sustainable housing. Our main focus is defending the disadvantaged and speaking up for women who have no voice; raising our words, when no one will listen. We now need your help to secure this family's future, they are currently being evicted under an ‘Order for Eviction’ on Wednesday 18th June at 08 00 hrs. To make matters worse, the Local Authority has refused to help and blocked two previous housing solutions. 
The Caridade family came to London in January 2014 from Portugal, where Mrs Caridade was promised a job in catering by her traffickers, who encouraged her move with her three children; 28, 19 and 15 in order to run away from domestic violence and a dangerous environment. Ms Caridade is now a desperate single mother of a 28 year old with Down's syndrome, a 15 year old who is now eight months pregnant and a 19 year old struggling in work at a supermarket trying to keep the family afloat.

Now Mrs Caridade is being asked to pay back  her family's passage   by being a prostitute. There was no job in catering, she is the victim of human trafficking and now subject to being sold as a sex object.   
The London Borough of Brent which has statutory responsibility for this vulnerable family, with many diverse needs, has done all that it can to exclude, alienate and force them to return to Portugal, by systematically neglecting their basic needs for the past five months. Brent has jeopardised their health by forcing them to live in an unhygienic environment due to   low income, ignoring the basic needs of the disabled and thus creating a hostile environment for a 15 year old pregnant child. To further make matters worse, the social worker assigned to this case has put aside all of the above, and has instead offered to pay for the family return to Portugal and falsely offering help to re-house them in Portugal.

 LB Brent should, according to their statutory duty to this family, provide a deposit and the first month's rent so this family can move safely out of the borough and start to rebuild  their lives. They are refusing to do so, for technical reasons and because they claim a License to Occupy is not a valid lawful agreement between a landlord and a tenant. 

The social worker asked why Brent should help this family. We say, because that is what you are supposed to do. She asks, “What about all the other homeless families in Brent facing homelessness?” We say, we can only change our corner of the world and Caridade has become part of that.
The housing officer tasked with disposing of this family does not consider Mrs Caridade's employment bona fide, although she has a cleaning contract with the southeast's largest lettings agency. He is deliberately misstating the DWP's own policy on employment and self-employment. This is an abhorrent misuse of power and lack of knowledge of the law, where an official can adapt and pervert the law in order to avoid supporting families in need.

 Your support will mean Mrs Caridade can start to build a brighter future, one she can control and in which she can build some security. Safe and secure housing is a huge advantage for women who have suffered trauma and violence. She's not asking for a handout, your support will help her to build her own cleaning company and stick it to The Man.

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