Marian Court: Families still waiting to be moved from Homerton block as demolition looms

PUBLISHED: 11:43 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:49 15 March 2019

Rahana Begum outside her home. Picture: Polly Hancock

Rahana Begum outside her home. Picture: Polly Hancock


As demolition of a huge housing block in Homerton looms, some families still waiting to be housed elsewhere feel they are being overlooked.

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

Tenants of Marian Court have been gradually moved out of their homes over the last few years ahead of the project to flatten and rebuild it. As that has happened the council has used the flats to house homeless families temporarily.

Now there is only two weeks left until all families in the block need to be out – and 11 or so have yet to find a new home.

In October the Gazette spoke to Shahbana Bibi, who was one of the first temporary tenants of Marian Court in 2014, about how she had watched on as her neighbours left ahead of her.

She was then offered a place in an area despite telling housing officers she had previously lived there and been the target of hate crime.

Most of the flats in Marian Court are now boarded up and empty. Picture: Polly HancockMost of the flats in Marian Court are now boarded up and empty. Picture: Polly Hancock

Shahbana and her four children are still there, and so too is her friend Rahan Begum, who has lived in the block for two-and-a-half years with her husband and three children.

She’s now listed number one on the waiting list for properties, but has been made a direct offer of a home she does not want.

If she refuses, she will have made herself “intentionally” homeless and could lose any chance of getting a home.

“I believe it is not fair our lives get destroyed because people in housing have the power to do whatever they like,” she said. “They have destroyed my mental state. I’m a mother of three and this is ruining my life and my children are getting affected.

“Why do they choose where I go even though I pleaded with them?”

Hackney has 3,000 people living in temporary accommodation and some 13,000 people on the housing waiting list.

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville has been involved in Shahbana’s case for months and has met most of the families left in the block, including Rahana’s.

Mr Glanville said: “I am committed to ensuring all the households at Marian Court are assisted in moving to good quality, stable and affordable homes in the borough.”

“Nearly all of the households at Marian Court have now moved into permanent accommodation in Hackney, and I have asked officers to prioritise the remaining households, including Shahbana Bibi and Rahana Begum and their families.”

Marian Court is one of more than 20 sites where the council is building almost 2,000 homes – more than half of which will be genuinely affordable council homes for social rent and shared ownership.

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