Editor’s comment: These families have probably lived here all their lives.
PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 July 2018
Hundreds of households - maybe more than 600 - have been given a month to find new homes and most will probably have to leave the borough.
These are people who have lived in their homes for many years and have probably lived in Havering all their lives.
They are losing their homes because the council needs to save money.
The news has, of course, shocked and scared the tenants, who are in Private Sector Leasing homes – properties owned by private landlords but managed by the council which also subsidises the rent.
Now the council is withdrawing from PSL which means these people will have to find their own private rented homes but without the money to pay for rents in Havering.
Thus they will almost certainly have to move out of the borough.
Margate in Kent, Colchester and Harlow in Essex have all been suggested.
For those who have children at school in Havering or just have family and support networks in the borough, that just isn’t practical.
We all know the council has a difficult job to juggle finances and the demands of the people.
But the council has not dealt with the situation well. The residents are confused about what is happening, ward councillors don’t seem to know what is going on.
Cllr Keith Darvill says he is disappointed with the lack of information passed on to ward councillors.
Councillor Jan Sargent said: “I have had a number of residents contact me about this who have felt panicked about what is happening and I don’t think it is very clear what is going on.”
And although we have requested interviews with the council so that we can clarify the situation, we have been refused.
So come on Havering, sit down with a reporter and explain what’s going on. Hopefully it could allay some fears.