Today a Genesis housing association shared owner, Carolyn Mandelson, has pitched a Wendy House tent on the pavement opposite Genesis’ London HQ at 64 Pratt Street in Camden Town, NW1.
Carolyn will be evicted from her flat in the north London borough of Barnet on Wednesday 11th April. She has lived there in since 2008. Genesis have ratcheted up her service charges since then by 234%, from £59 a month to £200 a month. They’ve put her rent up 32%, from £95 in 2008 to £520 in 2018.
Because she is now homeless, she has lost her job.
Appeals to ‘not-for-profit’ Genesis to modify the rent and service charge hikes failed. While Carolyn takes no money out of the situation, despite paying a mortgate for 10 years, Genesis effectively gets a free property. And the London borough of Brent, after promising her an alternative flat last week, has now told Carolyn she is not a priority for permanent rehousing.
Carolyn today delivered a letter to her new neighbour, Neil Haddon, the current boss of Genesis, the one who’s being paid off when he loses his CEO job. The plum CEO job of the merged Genesis/Notting Hill Housing goes to current NHH boss Kate Davies.
Genesis should welcome massively increased resident participation since August last year when the merger plan with NHH emerged. Tenants and residents now regularly organize pickets and demos. Media exposés have revealed that Genesis, along with other large HAs, doesn’t think twice about flogging social rented homes at auction.
The result? Carolyn is on the street.
Join her tomorrow Tuesday 10th April as well at 64 Pratt Street, London NW1 0DL. Call radio station LBC on 0345 6060973. They’ve got a producer on the story.