News Walthamstow

Protest in Walthamstow as dad pleads for housing help

Petrus Burin says he and his teen daughter are facing imminent eviction right before her GCSE exams

By Victoria Munro

LRU protestors outside Cedar Wood House in Walthamstow (credit: LRU)

Protestors gathered outside Waltham Forest Council’s housing office today to support a dad begging for help to avoid eviction.

Members of London Renters Union arrived at Cedar Wood House, a council office building in Fulbourne Road, Walthamstow, at 11am today to protest the treatment of their fellow member Petrus Burin.

Petrus says he first applied to the council for housing help on 8th March last year after being served a “no-fault” eviction notice by his landlord. Since then, his family’s situation has become even more urgent.

Given Petrus has a job locally and his teenage daughter is just about to sit her GCSE exams, LRU is calling on Waltham Forest Council to urgently find him somewhere to live within the borough.

(Credit: LRU)

Petrus said: “My daughter should be thinking about school, not worrying about where we’re going to live. It’s been over a year since our landlord handed us a no-fault eviction notice, but communicating with the council has been like talking to a brick wall.

“The constant insecurity is really affecting my mental health. We haven’t been able to find anywhere affordable in our local community, where I work near my daughter’s school. If the council does not rehouse us now, we will have nowhere to go.”

Liam Miller, LRU spokesperson, added: “Eviction can be an isolating and devastating experience for any family. That’s why we are coming together today to show that we will not let any of our members be forced into homelessness by our rigged housing system.”

Following the original publication of this article, Ahsan Khan, the council’s cabinet member for housing, confirmed the council was approached by a resident “seeking advice” in March last year but said enquiries “suggested the eviction notice wasn’t valid”.

He said: “[This] was shared with the resident along with an offer of help. We followed this offer up in June 2022 as we tried to ensure the situation had been resolved.

“We will always try to do everything we can to help those at risk of homelessness. Yesterday, we again attempted to contact the resident for an update on his situation.

“He is now in contact with the council’s Housing Options and Support Service who will work with him to assess both his current circumstances and future accommodation needs.

“The council is determined to build more high-quality, affordable, homes across the borough. We are committed to building 1,000 homes for social rent in the next few years. This is the best way to tackle the housing crisis and ensure that local families and friendship groups can remain together here in Waltham Forest.”