Focus E15 mothers are granted until 7th October to continue their protest.

02.10.14 | |

Focus E15 Mothers is a protest group formed by several young homeless mothers who met while in temporary accommodation provided by the London Borough of Newham. It seeks to campaign against the crisis in housing provision across London and the UK, in particular the practice of placing homeless people outside of London and leaving social housing empty. To highlight their protest, they occupied the Carpenters Estate in Newham, adjacent to the Olympic Village. The estate has slowly been emptied of its residents over the last 10 years, so that several hundred empty units of housing remain. 

 

On 26th September, Newham issued proceedings for an interim possession order, initially affording the mothers only two hours notice of a court hearing to evict them. The group - represented by Lindsay Johnson - successfully argued that eviction at such short notice would constitute an unlawful interference with the mothers' rights under Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention. 

 

Those arguments were repeated at the return date for the interim possession hearing. Again represented by Lindsay Johnson, the mothers agreed to leave the property on their own terms and at a time of their choosing - the court approved a consent order proposed by the mothers granting Newham possession on 7th October. 

 

The case highlights the broader problem of local authorities placing the homeless out of their area, an issue on which the Court of Appeal heard argument on 29th September in Nzolomeso v Westminster CC, in which Lindsay Johnson represents the appellant. 

 

 

For more on the Focus E15 Mothers, see The Guardian 1, The Guardian 2, London 24 and BBC

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