The independent London newspaper

Camden should use empty properties to cut homelessness

13 September, 2018

The carpet shop which became the Kentish Town Solidarity Space, but now ‘stands empty and boarded up’

• WE are very concerned with the high level of homelessness in Camden and with the council’s neglect of the borough’s people.

In November 2017 a government count put the number of rough sleepers in Camden at 127, whereas a year earlier it was 17. With this increase, Camden has become the borough in England with the third highest number of rough sleepers. In the same borough there are around 300 properties that have been empty for at least two years.

The council does not seem to be interested in reducing homelessness. In 2015 it removed 23,000 people off the council housing waiting list, without offering alternatives. On top of that, it prefers properties remain empty rather than be used to house homeless people.

This was dramatically shown when people occupying the empty carpet shop on Kentish Town Road were evicted. (Rough sleepers given a home after squatters ‘reclaim’ vacant carpet shop, June 8, 2017). It still stands empty and boarded up.

The council is overwhelmingly dominated by Labour so, other than themselves, who is stopping them from standing up for the people of Camden? We have been campaigning against austerity and in favour of providing social housing for all in the area.

We are collecting signatures demanding that the council takes over empty properties to house the homeless. You can find us every Saturday 12.30pm to 2pm in Kentish Town Road, in front of the closed post office, itself a symptom of exactly what we are talking about here.



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