Housing campaigners and Housing Rebellion climate campaigners took over empty Ministry of Justice flats on Saturday as part of the weekend of housing action workshops. A block of flats owned by the Ministry of Justice in Islington, that has been lying empty for ten years, was taken over by protesters. Supporters included Islington Homes for All, who have been campaigning for years to get the MoJ to allow Islington Council to take them over.
The Islington Citizen noted ‘Campaigners said it was a “disgrace” that the government has paid £600k for homes sitting empty near Pentonville prison for years, despite calls for them to be used to house families in need. The Ministry of Justice has paid £604,355 on council tax for the three- and four-bedroom former prison officers’ homes off Roman Way since 2016. Islington Council wants to see families living there and is calling on the government to sit down and talk about the flats’ future.’
Architects Journal also covered the protest, and included these words from Homes for All Coordinator Morag:
‘Islington Council has a waiting list of more than 15,000 households needing to access social housing.’ The flats ‘could be renovated, retrofitted, and [used to] get local families off the waiting list back into the local community. We don’t want private developers coming in. That will just gentrify the area or push working-class people out of the area, which is already happening through temporary accommodation because there is no council housing. We want everybody to have access to council housing.’
The BBC covered the occupation with an article on their website ‘Activists occupy homes left empty for a decade’
London Live interview (on Facebook) with Islington Homes for All on the 28 Empty, ex prison warden flats
Sign the Islington Homes for All petition calling on the Ministry of Justice to hand over the empty ex-Pentonville prison warden flats.