Stepney’s homeless get short stay’ tenancies secured after 14 years

A FORMER council block of flats in London’s East End being used by housing associations for homeless families for 14 years is to be given back to the local authority. Families in Latham House in Stepney have had enough of private housing management

By Mike Brooke

A FORMER council block of flats in London’s East End being used by housing associations for homeless families for 14 years is to be given back to the local authority.

Families in Latham House in Stepney have had enough of private housing management and have been campaigning to get secure council tenancies after endless problems in the block.

Their campaign has finally paid off. The building is being handed over to Tower Hamlets Homes following a Town Hall deal last week.

“Latham House has been plagued by anti-social behaviour for years,” said the council’s lead member for housing Marc Francis.

“Residents have been unhappy with the management and caretaking in the block throughout that time.

“We considered several options for Latham House, but we are confident this hand-back was the right decision.”

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Spitalfields and Family Mosaic housing associations are surrendering the lease 12 months earlier than the contracted end-date of March 31 next year. Tenants of the 94 flats are to remain and get their secure council tenancies.

The authority agreed to a 15-year lease with Family Mosaic back in 1996 to run Latham House.

It nominated 94 homeless families to move in on assured short-hold’ agreements, which put a roof over their heads, but meant they had little security and almost no priority for rehousing. Now, after 14 years, the families finally get their homes secured.

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