Posts Tagged ‘Maritza Tschepp’

Lambeth United Housing Coop have just released the following press release. You can find more details on the campaign here

Stop selling social housing

On Wednesday 29th January Lambeth residents and campaigners will meet outside Lambeth Town Hall, in Brixton, to protest against the council’s sale of long-standing housing co-operatives. At the lobby Lambeth councillors will be asked to sign a specific pledge against the eviction of long-term housing co-op resident Maritza Tschepp:

We the undersigned pledge to stand with Maritza and her family when they refuse to leave their home, if Lambeth go through with their threat to send bailiffs to evict her in order to sell off the property.

Maritza’s story
Maritza Tschepp and her family have lived in their home for 33 years. Their house was among those compulsory purchased by Lambeth for demolition for a couple of thousand pounds in the 1970s and left to rot. The council allowed ‘shortlife’ co-ops to be set up, run by the people like Maritza who were occupying and maintaining the houses. But Lambeth are now destroying these co-ops and selling off the properties with no acknowledgement of the blood, sweat and tears of the ‘short lifers’, who saved these homes from dereliction.

At a time when waiting lists for council housing are at record levels it is a crime for Lambeth to sell social housing.

Maritza has also invested in her community, setting up a local youth group and running it as an unpaid volunteer for over 20 years, but Lambeth has shown no concern about keeping people in homes and communities where they have lived and worked for so long.

If Lambeth send bailiffs we will stand with Maritza to resist this unjust eviction.
Don’t let ‘the Cooperative Council’ evict Maritza’s family from their housing co-op.
Lobby Lambeth Council
6pm, Wednesday 29th January,
Lambeth Town Hall

Pledge your support to stop the eviction by contacting Lambeth Housing Activists on


The Lambeth United Housing Cooperative recently issued this press release

The latest development in Lambeth Council’s purge of long-term housing co-op communities comes this week with the trial of Maritza Tschepp on Thursday.

Maritza Tschepp has lived in her home for 33 years, turning it from a derelict site – that was originally CPO’d in the mid 1970s for demolition by Lambeth Council – into a home of a standard well above many council properties, and one more than suitable to bring up three children in.

An active co-op member for more than 3 decades, Maritza also has 20 years experience of leading a local co-operative youth group, the Clapham Woodcraft Folk, including taking young people from Lambeth on many residentials such as Global Village, CoCamp and Snow-Camp. In a bizarre twist, the children of some Lambeth councillors and officers have benefitted from Maritza’s volunteer youth work. Lib Peck, the current leader of Lambeth Council, was until very recently a member of Clapham Woodcraft Folk.

Meanwhile, Maritza’s housing co-op, High Priority, took all nominations from the council waiting list even though the council had nothing to do with the upkeep of the co-op houses. High Priority Housing Co-op spent thousands of pounds on repairs to their houses, monies raised by their own members.

Now the council want to evict residents like Maritza and sell their houses off on the open market, at auction.

The sell-off has been roundly criticised as “savage” by councillors, local residents, local MP Kate Hoey, and even some of Lambeth Council’s own commissioners responsible for the council’s so-called ‘co-operative’ status have raised urgent concerns.

On the eve of Maritza’s trial Kate Hoey MP said:
“Lambeth Council’s eviction policy towards long-term residents of the borough is nothing short of a scandal. They have ‘criminalised’ active members of the community such as Maritza with this short-sighted and unforgivable policy.”

“I have consistently asked the council to think again, but still they continue to bulldoze through with this unfair action. Maritza herself has been part of a resident’s group, backed by the Co-operative Enterprise Hub amongst others, to reach a fair solution, but the council has not given this a fair hearing.”

“Maritza’s beautiful home will, if she is evicted, most likely be immediately ripped apart (at yet more cost to the council along with payments to lawyers and vacant property managers) as has happened elsewhere before being sold on the open market to a developer. With the shortage of housing in the borough this makes the council’s actions even more appalling.”

Meanwhile, Christian Hansen of Hansen Palomares, solicitors for Maritza, added:
“Lambeth’s behaviour has been terrible. As well as trying to take Ms Tschepp’s home, they’ve tried to bully her into giving up by making an additional claim, which they know is grossly unrealistic, for tens of thousands of pounds. They are bullying many other ‘short-life’ residents in the same way.”

Maritza said:
“The impact of Lambeth’s actions on my family has caused extreme stress. My children grew up in this house, it is our family home. I have invested decades of my own time and money into turning a neglected wreck into a comfortable home. It is upsetting that Lambeth seem to place no value on this, nor on my contribution to my local community. Instead this so-called ‘co-operative council’ intend to profit from my distress.”