Protestors support Waltham single mum facing eviction

Protestors gathered outside the town hall this week to support a single mum facing eviction once again by Waltham Forest Council.

Nadia Zamin, a 38-year-old lifelong borough resident, became homeless in June after the breakdown of her marriage meant she could no longer pay rent.

She and her three young children were placed in temporary accommodation in Leyton by the council but told at the end of July to move to Stoke-on-Trent.

When she refused, she was told to leave and faced homelessness again until being offered another temporary accommodation in Walthamstow, this time by the council’s social services department.

Now, however, the family has been asked to leave this home, despite Nadia finally managing to find a job, a decision that has outraged her supporters.

At a meeting of the council’s children and families scrutiny committee on November 11, Socialist Party member Linda Taaffe read a letter to councillors from Nadia.

Nadia wrote: “I’m sure your committee is doing lots of good work in helping children but something is seriously missing.

“That’s how unaffordable housing is, the terrible insecurity of temporary accommodation and the adverse influences that will have on children.

“Truly affordable housing should be a basic right of a child, I’m trying my level best to get out of this difficult situation but I meet obstacles at every turn.”

Daniel Phelps, corporate director of social care, responded that the service continues to “work and collaborate” with Nadia to find private accommodation.

He said: “We’re in regular contact, its purposeful, it’s supportive of her search for private accommodation, indeed we’ve got a meeting with her next week to talk about accommodation.”

However, outside the town hall, Nancy Taaffe, also of the Socialist Party, said this struggle is a symbol of a wider housing problem in the borough.

She said: “[The committee were] talking about life chances, but what chance have her young children’s lives got if they’re being shoved around?

“This protest is to highlight what has happened to Nadia, something that is going on a lot and has infuriated people.”

Responding the day after the protest, the council’s cabinet member for housing Louise Mitchell said the council will “continue to work with Nadia and her family to understand her circumstances”.

She added: “Waltham Forest Council works hard to provide accommodation for residents who request assistance.

“Our preference is to house every household locally. However, demand for housing in London far outstrips supply and we regret it is not always possible to place people in the borough.

“We understand it is a very difficult time for households that find themselves at risk of losing their home, and we work hard to find the most appropriate ways that we can support them.”


Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter