Last weekend Baron Homes Corporation Limited yet again revenge evicted a single mother from Windsor Court Brighton, the company illegally changed the locks and we understand have also refused to give the poor victim her deposit back.
There has been no paperwork given to Maggie in relation to the eviction or notice given, the council have failed
Shelter have confirmed that this is an illegal eviction and entitled to compensation on three separate grounds. This time we will win.
I was shocked that events were allowed to go this far, I tried everything to help Maggie this day, social services did not want to know which you can listen to in this exclusive recording with social services manager Indra.
Whilst I am not attacking social services in general here, I am highlighting a particular individual who I believe hopefully does not represent the Children’s Services Department.
I don’t know about you but that is not the way to help a victim in need.
EXPOSE BARON HOMES FOR THEIR CORRUPTION AND NEGLIGENT
There is a petition which has been set up to get the revenge evictions and other issues investigated, please can you sign and promote this petition.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE COMMENTS
My daughter was kicked out of one of their shit holes for complaining about damp mould ever where and a blocked sink and was told to keep her mouth shut and not to tell council how bad the place was if she wanted to keep a roof over her head she also received threats from the thugs who call themselves “the caretakers”
I’m signing because I lived here with Joey when he was 6months, black carpets, fleas, silver fish, damp! Was only moved a week before joeys open head surgery because I refused to take him back there after leaving Great Ormond Street! The place needs knocking down!
My friend is young, hard working and lives with her 8 year old daughter in one of their flats. The flat got broken in to on three consecutive nights a month ago. The door was kicked out the frame and the third attempt was through the windows (which don’t close let alone have locks).
Neither Baron Homes or the Council have repaired the door or windows rendering them homeless or unsafe. They’ve been living at mine to keep them secure. Baron homes even shared the internal pictures of the flat to a neighbour (which must be a confidentially breach) suggesting the place was a mess so how do they know if it had in fact been broken in to (despite three crime references and witnesses).
The mess was only due to her having lost her Mum a few weeks previous and inheriting all her belongings in to the studio flat in which they resided. The real joke is the police could not get finger prints due to the property being too cold at only 12 degrees!! The reason being that the windows don’t close and the heating doesn’t work. This costs her £650 a month. Disgusting!!!
Elected Councillors Have A Duty To Pressure the Council for the Urgent Report into Revenge Evictions
In November at the housing and new homes committee Green Councillor David Gibson passed an amendment asking for the council to urgently investigate the revenge evictions and provide the committee with this report urgently. Its now February and we have heard nothing, this amendment was seconded by Conservative Mary Mears.
Our labour council are failing around housing issues, we keep providing the evidence and nothing is done, they aren’t challenging the officers and double checking standards, they simply aren’t listening hard enough.
Set up in the 90’s after the conservative government introduced the Right to Buy Scheme Company No: 02930345. Baron Homes are everywhere to be found in Brighton and Hove today and have enough assets to launch legal action anytime someone speaks out.
I don’t have a pot to piss in, excuse the expression!
Since this company have been in operation, we have seen a huge rise in the private rental sector, the sale and loss of many council owned homes in Brighton and Hove, a huge rise in homelessness and the rise of the Private Sector taking ownership of Temporary and Emergency Accommodation.
The below image is just one example of linked companies buying up council assets for redevelopment into luxory accommodation, now a 1 bed is on the market for £950pcm – This compares to the average homemove rent of £300pcm.
The Hidden Homeless: File on 4 BBC Radio Documentary
Last night the BBC broadcast a 40 minute documentary focusing on the impact of living in Temporary Accommodation, the reasons for this including the sale of council owned properties and companies acting like cartels.
Latest government figures show councils in England took on 15,000 new homeless households between April and June this year – a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.
Terri and Angela two single mothers living in Windsor Court, Windsor Street Brighton, contacted the BBC regarding issues relating to the accommodation and to explain why Emergency Services are onsite, as reported by BBC Sussex a few weeks back.
Within days of this the mothers faced reprisals for speaking out, what they call as a targeted revenge eviction from Baron Homes.
Meet Terri who was quickly evicted by Baron Homes and removed from Brighton and Hove
Initially Ben Weisz Political Reporter from the BBC visited Terri at the notorious Baron Homes Accommodation known as Windsor Court, to discuss the number of Ambulance Callouts for the Property, which as you can see has jumped to about 2 per week in 2016.
On the 18th October 2016 another BBC Journalist Simon Cox contacted the family as part of a documentary around Hidden Homelessness, Terri wanted to speak out and help educate the wider public on what life is like living in Emergency Accommodation as a single mother.
Terri states – The caretaker from Baron Homes forced entry to flat 17 where we then were, and aggressively removed Simon Cox to the extreme of seeing him out the building.
Terri explained that at that time, there was nothing to written within the contract about not allowing media visitors at Windsor Court. Residents are allowed visitors during set times.
The next day 19th October 2016 Terri explains that she came home at 12:45pm to find her flat had been entered without prior notification or knowledge. She explains that during bad weather the door window pane was broken, and whilst she was unhappy they had entered her flat without prior notice, that getting it fixed was more important.
Then Terri explains –
The glass company contracted out by Baron Homes had decided to shave and cut the glass in my home, glass was all over my carpet and they clearly didn’t use dust sheets leaving glass shavings all over the entrance.
I rang Baron Homes and asked them to send someone out about this as I was now very upset whilst waiting for Baron Homes to arrive, I also called the Brighton and Hove City Council being placed on hold.
Terri then states that at around 13:03pm, she saw over her balcony Matt the Baron Homes Caretaker arriving alone, she says there was something different about him so ran to the second floor, then down to the first floor to meet Matt.
She explains that whilst on hold and on loud speaker, Matt started taking photos and then the council advisor answered saying “we are sorry about the wait”. Matt hears that Terri is on the phone to Brighton and Hove City Council.
Terri States –
He realises I’m ringing the council, he said – “you’re not still ringing the council are you?” I said, ‘well yes, I didn’t know this was happening and they’ve left my home in a mess and its dangerous,’
The Caretaker said sarcastically “you have a hoover don’t you?” Terri said “it’s not my job to clean that, it should not be there!”
The Caretaker walks back from the lift door, and says
Terri I’m talking to you as a friend, if you ring the council and complain I will tell Baron Homes you broke the glass yourself and you’ll have to pay £75. so Terri said “so you want to blackmail me? The Caretaker stated “No I’m talking to you as a friend, you complain and I tell them you lied”
Terri states that a week prior another caretaker called Ali informed the council officers who were doing an inspection of the property that the glass was broken by the wind.
Then Terri explains she said if Matt explains she broke this, that he would look stupid as it had already been reported as an accident.
The Caretaker Said to Terri “don’t call me stupid you fat bitch, I’ll kick you out then” Terri said “how are you going doing that though Matt? I’ve done nothing wrong, but come home to get pissed off and have you try blackmail and now threaten me? Are you joking?
Matt now moves forward backing me to the wall, I can smell the coffee on his breathe “hang up the phone!” (At this point two BLACK men open the door from 17 seeing matt backing me to the wall) Matt noticed them alerting me I shout, (Help! Can you hear this he’s blackmailing me!) Matt perks up shut up you stupid bitch ” the two men shout what’s going on? And Matt walks now towards them, I shout so now two MEN are here you want to walk away?
Angry because I was intimidated I called him a pussy and I shouted at him how dare he scare me and my child who was stood between us the whole time and then walk away when men come out because your behaving wrong! Are you joking come on don’t be shy now I shouted, as he walked down the stairs instead of answering me he simply shouts “shut up you stupid bitch your a liar, she’s a liar everybody”
Terri says – Now shaking and scared senseless I grab my son and keys and walk out to the front of the building in hope to catch the two men who had interrupted. As I left they were there, they asked me if I was okay and we had started to discuss what had happened.
Finally the Male council staff member answered around 13:15pm she states the Caretaker saw her speaking to the council officer and shouted ‘oi’ then said “just remember who they believe”. then passed her a room cancellation notice.
Terri States the Council staff member asked her to come down to the council. By the time she got there, she states her son was traumatised by the incident and wouldn’t take his hands away from his eyes.
She states that Baron Homes contacted the council made an allegation of 4 separate racially abusive incidents which was the reason they cancelled her room – Also they said because she didn’t pay for the window, which she didn’t break.
I have asked Terri if she had received any previous warnings in writing and she has stated no, Terri refutes the allegations and in fact defiantly went to the police station to report the incident with the caretaker. Which they couldn’t take further due to no evidence.
I contacted another resident who jumped at the defence of Terri and said
My neighbour has been evicted with just less than 24hrs notice.. On grounds of racism.. She’s not racist. Baron homes told the council that she has had 4 complaints of abuse towards contractors and abuse and racism towards staff.
She spoke to simon cox yesterday and again today after what happened . She made a complaint about her door being fixed without prior notice. The caretaker gave key to glazier who left glass shavings on her floor. She wants to make this even more public via
She has a four year old son. Cant believe they are doing this.
Whats happened to Terri?
She says – I’m now living in Seaford paying £40 a fortnight to get my son to nursery just so he can keep some stability! My son wouldn’t come home for days he was too scared.
I’m in a nice place it’s warm and clean, however I can’t have a Christmas tree for the second year running. Only difference this year is I can not allow anyone to buy him presents. For where am I to put them? I haven’t the room my whole life is now in boxes and bags in the corner of my now home.
I can’t unpack I can’t plan. I just have to go day by day wondering when I’ll get moved.
When did standing up for my rights actually do anything? I mean is having a voice in today’s world worth it. I mean all it’s done to me is take my home away.,Force me and my son into sharing a bed with no ability to watch tv on a sofa again.
I’ve had not a seat to sit on since February this year when I was moved into flat 6 from mouldy 45 which was large compared to my sorry state smaller flat, flat 6.
My son is four he is doing really well at school but this shit just keeps setting him back and me.
I have PTSD, I’m unwell and have been forced to moved again, to pack my life up in less then 24 hours and even had to move myself with no help to Seaford.
It took nearly the whole year to get better after the stress of last year to the point I had key workers coming from left right and centre.
Now I can’t say next year won’t start the same as this one. When will I get my forever home? When will my son get to be a child and have a home and normal bed time and routine. He’s the one that’s been punished not me!
I haven’t lost anything I have him, but for him, he loses friends relationships he’s built will suffer and have to be rebuilt eventually. It disturbs his behaviour at home he punishes me. He suffers not I! So why can’t they see that. Do what you like to me, my baby, boy you best keep praying cause I won’t stop I will rectify what my son has been through no matter what.
There are almost 2000 children living in temporary accommodation in Brighton and Hove, this the story of one. I know who I believe, especially with all the other reports about Baron Homes that I’ve been shown. Make your own mind up and remember if you haven’t already listen to Terri yourself.
A Brief Background Before I Expose the Truth on Housing in Brighton & Hove
For almost four months I have been living in Emergency Accommodation which is not fit for purpose, back in March I exposed the scandal that is Emergency Accommodation in Brighton and Hove. I successfully managed to single-handedly campaign against this wrongdoing and expose this democratically through a petition, which have 1600 supporters, before I presented this to the city in person at the Full Council Meetingat the end of March.
In June this petition and the 10 point plan to improve Emergency Housing will be discussed at the new homes committee meeting, when I hope the cities councillors adopt my plan which will help the vulnerable in the cityandsave the British Publican absolute fortunein Housing Benefit Payments currently paid to private limited companies.
A Freedom of information Request in Feb 2016 reveals that the amount paid to companies who sub-contract properties out to Brighton and Hove City Council in 2014 was £8,341,572.00, the Amount paid to companies in 2015 was £8,711,572.00
For Hostels in 2014 it was £1,590,181.00 and in 2015 it was £1,551,686.00.
A Shelter Report shows
Analysis – dominance of housing benefit Housing benefit is widely recognised as having facilitated a switch from supply side to demand side subsidies.13 The period following 1975 saw a move away from investment in bricks and mortar with a corresponding rise in expenditure on housing benefit.
This was not an accidental shift. Successive governments remained committed to the idea that support should be targeted at individuals rather than bricks and mortar investment to increase the supply of housing
Look at the graph, enough said.
Lets now look at the trend for overall Housing Benefit Spending.
Before you blame the welfare state, remember the reason for the increase is the Private Rented Sector, at a whopping 53%
Here is a graph showing the change in Social Housing Tenants vs. Private Rented Sector Housing
High reliance on temporary accommodation to house homeless households, fuelled by a shortage of social housing, also drives up housing benefit expenditure. Pre-recession it was estimated that a tenth of the housing benefit bill related to rents in temporary accommodation. Expenditure on temporary accommodation costs amounted to £587 million in 2005–06, up from £116 million in 1997–08.5
This isn’t an attack on the welfare state, this is an attack on the current government for trying to destroy social housing in favour of the Private Rented Sector.
Homes to live IN, NOT OFF
Helgor Trading Ltd’s Directors are Named in the Panama Papers
According to Companies House Helgor Trading Ltd have Three Company Directors;
Mr Abraham Aharon DODI, MR Nir SHAMIR & Mr John Simon HELFGOTT.
They have around 130 rooms in the city providing Emergency Housing to the homeless and often vulnerable. It is Temporary Housing because essentially we have a non secure nightly licence agreement (like a hotel) as per the contacts above. The nightly cost is £27.86, this is £847.00 a month or £10, 168.90 a year, their is also a £12.50 per week service charge or £55 a month.
Now If I was to live in Social Housing, which I am currently fighting the council for, due to my current circumstances, the average 1 bed flat on http://www.homemove.org is about £75.00 a week Rent, or £3,900 per year, thats £325 a month.
When I searched for the director Mr Abraham Ahoron Dodi on this online database one of the many 66 companies he is a director of Ordan Property Limited Shows up registered in the British Virgin Islands – a known Tax Haven.
Some more Facts
The British Virgin Islands Since 2005 have a corporation tax rate of 0%.
When I searched for the director Mr Nir Shamiron this online database one of the many 18 companies he is a director of Nurit Invest Limited Shows up registered in the British Virgin Islands – a known Tax Haven.
Both of these directors are in the property development business. I am making no claims that both these individuals are doing anything illegal, owning a company in a Tax Haven like the British Virgin Islands is legal.
What I don’t understand is why when they are operating in the UK through many businesses and have contracts with local councils like Brighton and Hove do they need to have companies paying Zero Percent Tax, What I don’t understand is why I am living in a room which is costing tax payers here money and Housing Benefit Payments of 10k plus per year per person.
What I don’t understand is why the hot water here in Percival Terrace is so bad? what I don’t understand is why the windows here are so bad?
One Final Fact – People are committing Suicide here, I know of 4 separate people who have died in this place since Nov 2015.
Another Company who own many Emergency Accommodation rooms in the city is Baron Homes, linked to baron estates and baron developments. Caroline Lucas asks this about one of the properties Windsor Court.
So why does Brighton and Hove City Council continue to house so many vulnerable people there? It’s a question I’ve asked many times. – Caroline Lucas
Caroline then goes on to state
Windsor Court is privately owned so the Council lease it from a private landlord, Baron Homes, who profit from the arrangement. I’ve repeatedly urged the council to put pressure on the landlord to improve conditions, or to simply not renew the agreement at all. Caroline Lucas
Check out some of the other addressed in this FOI Link
THE BARON HOMES CORPORATION LIMITED Director is Named in the Panama Papers
Firstly before I reveal the information, this is what one teenager recently said about the Emergency Accommodation leased from Brighton and Hove City Council to Baron Homes.
About a hundred people are housed in three separate blocks here. Many 18 or under, probably thirty of us altogether. Obviously the people here have a wide range of issues, they’re drug addicts, alcoholics or they have mental health issues. There are definitely a few who are suicidal. It can be a frightening place to live.
I have a plastic mattress and my own cooker, technically I have a lock on the door but they have keys and in any case its quite flimsy. There are two toilets for the whole block and one communal shower, they might be cleaned once a fortnight. Were banned from allowing guests (even family) into our rooms.Crucially, Baron Homes tenants have to find an additional £10 a week service charge from their usually low incomes.
If Brighton City Council are handing over £150 a week per tenant then that’s in excess of £40,000 a week going from council tax payers straight into the coffers of Baron Homes.
Brighton is the homelessness capital of Sussex, as many people come to the city seeking opportunities in the City by the Sea end up broke, desperate and thrown on this trash heap. The percentage of people using Basics banks and emergency accommodation is so high that the council simply cant provide enough property or food. The new squatting laws have meant that as the poor and homeless try to organise their own accommodation they are ruthlessly evicted, leaving them with nowhere to turn except for Emergency Accommodation. Nice little earner!
The Companies House Link shows two Directors currently, but many resignations over the years such as Mr Richard Blencowe, Mrs Nazila Karimi BLENCOWE a director of 4 companies was found on the Panama Papers Database Linked also to Manor Developments Limited which was incorporated in the Zero Tax Haven British Virgin Islands
Baron Estates have recently purchased Ex Local Authority Owned Council Offices on Bartholomew Square these have been converted into luxury Apartments which are currently advertised on Rightmove for £950PCM. Check Out the Images in the gallery below.
Baron Estates Ex Brighton and Hove City Council Building Redevelopment
Again I am not saying that this is illegal, what concerns me is that in a recent blog post I showed you what the Emergency Housing Properties look like from Baron Homes, when you take into account again over 10k is spent on housing benefit payments paying Baron Homes and the Squalor people are living in, and then see a sister company buying up ex council property and converting into luxury homes, many unaffordable to people on average incomes you have to ask the question, firstly is this right? and is their a conflict of interest.
I want to end this blog post by telling you that I recently complained to the Head of Housing about the victimisation I received from the Head of Temporary Allocations, My complaint was upheld.
I have Bi-polar 2, I am dealing with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to some historic sexual abuse I suffered, I was originally rejected for my homelessness application, which was over turned. I recently spoke out on national TV because of mental illness and kids in care.
I am in recovery and currently having counselling and am on strong medication, why am I living in such conditions when companies are making millions and millions from hard working tax payers, like myself.
Their is seriously something wrong in Brighton and Hove and I call for a formal investigation into what is going on at the housing department in Brighton and Hove.
I want everyone who reads this to share this locally and expose the wrongdoings locally.
Other Facts Just In.
House prices In Brighton and Hove are 44% above the average
Brighton and Hove are the 4th most housing deprived area outside London in England
Private rents across the UK increased by 8.2% in 2014
Ave 3 bed house rent dec 2013 £1449 per month
37% of private rented homes are non decent (the highest group)
10 billion spent each year on benefits which go to private landlords out of 21 billion
26,284 sold under RTB with new discounts April 2013- June 2015, 3,171 replacement builds starts or acquisitions