Mother-of-four feels overlooked as she is first in and last out of Homerton temporary housing block

PUBLISHED: 16:52 10 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 11 October 2018

Shahbana Bibi outside Marian Court. Picture: Polly Hancock

Shahbana Bibi outside Marian Court. Picture: Polly Hancock


A mother-of-four who has been in temporary accommodation at a soon-to-be-demolished Homerton block for five years says she’s being overlooked while neighbours get housed.

Shahbana Bibi has been waiting to move out of temporary accomodation in Marian Court for five years. Picture: Polly HancockShahbana Bibi has been waiting to move out of temporary accomodation in Marian Court for five years. Picture: Polly Hancock

Shahbana Bibi and her family were one of the first to be moved into Marian Court as a temporary measure while they waited for a social home to become available. That was in 2013.

Now, with the block set to be flattened and redeveloped, the council is moving longer-staying tenants into permanent homes.

As she’d been there the longest, Shahbana was told she would be a priority. But she’s seen dozens of families be made direct offers before she received one.

“Everything was going fine and I was getting closer to getting a property,” she said. “Then earlier this year we heard about the block and I was told if I chose a property I liked I would be made a direct offer.

Shahbana Bibi and one of her four children. Picture: Polly HancockShahbana Bibi and one of her four children. Picture: Polly Hancock

“But every time I have called there has been one reason or another why I’ve not got it. All the other neighbours who came after have now left.”

Shahbana received her first direct offer last week, but not in the usual circumstances. She had bid for a property in N16 but instead received an email saying a suitable home had come up on the Kingsmead Estate in Homerton, near her mother.

That’s odd because Shahbana used to live on the Kingsmead Estate and suffered horrific abuse and hate crime. She says she never stated she wanted to live in E9.

“I suffered very traumatically,” she added. “I had police kick my door down by accident and after that I got abuse. It was just after the Lee Rigby attack and dressed in full Islamic attire I got constant abuse.”

Hackney Council said Shahbana had not told them about her experiences there, and has now cancelled the direct offer.

A spokesperson said the family were not being overlooked, and it was a matter of finding a suitable home. “Mrs Bibi and her family are part of around 13,000 households on our waiting list and more than 3,000 families in temporary accommodation,” they said. “We are continuing to work closely with Mrs Bibi to find her a suitable permanent home in Hackney that meets her family’s needs.”

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