Social Tenants And Residents Community
Riverside Housing Association are evicting tenants in Maidstone, Kent so they can charge new social tenants more in rent – £2,800 per year more than Riverside charge social tenants in Kensington & Chelsea in central London.
The ONLY way Riverside can get this extra £50,000 per year in rent from the 33 Pudding Lane apartments in Maidstone is to evict the current longstanding social tenants who already pay 30% more than a Riverside tenant in central London.
Riverside is also refusing to undertake repairs in this building that saw two windows simply drop out of their frames onto Maidstone High Street below a few months ago. A link to the ITV News coverage of that is HERE.
The same building has a ‘floating roof’ and at least 6 apartments in a chronic state of disrepair with the ceilings having collapsed and the communal areas have bare wiring for light fittings and a fire escape procedure that requires tenants to go up and down stairs carrying children in their prams should a fire occur.
The tenants are not the Benefit Street social tenant stereotype: Most are working and key workers in the health service and other public services and a strong community exists with many tenants having lived there over 6 years and who all look out for one another.
Riverside has given the tenants assured shorthold tenancies, the usual tenure given to private tenants, and believes it can evict them for no reason with a two-month Section 21 Notice.
Riverside view their tenants as expendable and constraints.
“I would like to welcome customers in Kent to the Riverside family”
says Riverside Chief Executive Carol Matthews in a video message from her ivory tower of Riverside HQ in Speke, Liverpool, some 257 miles away. Little did the Pudding Lane tenants realise who they had joined was the Rachman family.
Now these ordinary yet plucky working social tenants have formed STARC – Social Tenant And Resident Community – to fight for their homes against this corporate giant with over £10 billion in assets.
Riverside (Central and South) is refusing to meet with STARC despite this being their corporate policy and the tenant’s right and they have even failed to respond with a meeting date despite the first eviction notices expiring in May.
STARC is asking for your support and donations to ensure that what Riverside is doing in Maidstone will not happen there or to others across the country, whether Riverside tenants or not.
One tenant is a working single mum whose son needs and receives speech therapy. Yet if she is forced to move it could be 30 or more miles away and to an area with no such speech therapy available. There are 8 children living at Pudding Lane who will also have to move to new schools and find new friends and support networks.
Many of their stories will appear on the website and all will reveal that the corporate greed of Riverside, an alleged social landlord, sees the children of tenants as expendable impediments too.
Transforming lives for the tenant’s worst and for Riverside’s corporate greed in charging 50% more for a 2 bed in Maidstone than they do for a 2 bed in Kensington & Chelsea in central London.
Thank you for giving what you can
STARC – Social Tenants And Residents Community