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Marian Court: 3 weeks from demolition, council says it is struggling to find homes for families stuck in Homerton block

PUBLISHED: 11:00 12 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:15 12 April 2019

Marian Court resident Margaret Mongan, with her severely disabled daughter Annmarie Mongan, nine. Picture: Polly Hancock

Marian Court resident Margaret Mongan, with her severely disabled daughter Annmarie Mongan, nine. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Hackney Council has just three weeks to find new homes for four families before Marian Court in Homerton is demolished - and the town hall admits it's struggling.

The soon to be demolished Marian Court. Picture: Polly HancockThe soon to be demolished Marian Court. Picture: Polly Hancock

The doomed block has been used as temporary accommodation for households on the 13,000-strong waiting list over the last few years.

But the severe lack of available homes across the capital means the handful of families still stuck there may have to move to another temporary home despite promises they would get a permanent place.

Bulldozing 136 flats at Marian Court and Bridge House next door is part of the council’s plan to build 275 new homes there. Eighty will be for social rent, compared with 66 at the moment.

And with work ready to begin, the council needs to clear the block by the end of the month.

Rahana Begum outside her home. Picture: Polly HancockRahana Begum outside her home. Picture: Polly Hancock

Margaret Mongan still lives there with her two children Annmarie, nine, and John, seven, and her mother Anne. She’s been told they may have to move to a hostel, where Annmarie’s health would likely suffer.

“The housing officer has not made me any offers yet,” she said. ““They are saying they are going to put us in a hostel. I’ve been in the urgent band since August. My daughter has complex health needs and she’ll get too ill in a hostel.”

The Gazette has also reported on two of the other families left in the block. Shahbana Bibi, who has been there for five years and was offered an unsuitable home in an area she had previously suffered hate crime, and Rahan Begum, who was made a direct offer on a place she didn’t want.

Shahbana has now been made a direct offer, but Rahana, her partner and their four children could also be moved into another temporary home at the end of the month.

Shahbana Bibi outside Marian Court. Picture: Polly HancockShahbana Bibi outside Marian Court. Picture: Polly Hancock

Like them, Maragret has met mayor Phil Glanville to discuss her case. He says officers were working hard to ensure all remaining families can move into permanent homes like the 36 who have already left.

Mr Glanville said: “Marian Court is one of more than 20 sites where we are building almost 2,000 new homes – over half of them council homes and shared ownership – so more families can have a high-quality, genuinely affordable home. It is a sad indication of Hackney’s and the capital’s acute housing shortage that the housing team has not yet been able to secure suitable homes for the remaining few families. I appreciate the distress and understandable frustration this has caused.”

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