Lawyers start to look into Croydon’s temporary accommodation

A public meeting today with public interest lawyers could represent the start of a potentially long campaign to get better living conditions for hundreds of families currently housed in three former office blocks on London Road between Thornton Heath and Norbury.

Preparing a case: the SWLLC’s tweeted appeal

It is every local authority’s legal duty to provide emergency and temporary accommodation for the homeless, and it is also the law that no one should be accommodated in B&Bs that are not owned or managed by the local authority for longer than six weeks.

But in Croydon, with at least 2,500 families being accommdated in B&Bs or similar, many are forced to endure those conditions for months on end.

It is almost 10 years since Croydon Council took the leases on three 1960s office blocks on London Road – Windsor House, Concord House and Sycamore House. Between them they provide 338 generally one-bed homes – and save the council around £500,000 per year on the costs of B&Bs.

But almost from Day One, there have been regular reports of poor living conditions, over-crowding and dangers of fire risks in one of other of the buildings.

Now the South West London Law Centres are stepping in.

They are staging a meeting at lunchtime today, September 7, to hear from residents, past and present, of Windsor House, Concord House and Sycamore House – but also others who are enduring council-provided temporary accommodation.

“Anyone who is living in temporary accommodation in Croydon needs to be part of this campaign as demands are being progressed,” a SWLLC spokesperson told Inside Croydon.

The meeting is at the South Norwood Community Kitchen, Socco Cheta, 44b Portland Rd SE25 4PQ, until around 3pm.

The Law Centre says, “If you have any questions or would like to discuss contact Rhi from the Law Centre on 0208 208 5757 or at

Read more: ‘My family’s hell on earth’: 18 months in a Croydon B&B

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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2 Responses to Lawyers start to look into Croydon’s temporary accommodation

  1. Les Parry says:

    I agree with everything advocated in this story however to give some balance please note the council does not have the social housing stock to provide homes , nor does the council which is bankrupt due to previous Labour administrations have the finance to build the required amount of homes in addition starting in November the council starts the relocation of Regina Road flats for a 3 year project . So there are many issues that affect rehousing people in temporarily accomodation. Yes it should of been done! It wasn’t will it be done my view is yes but to get to where we should be it could take up to 10 years.

    • Sarah Bird says:

      Surely the time has come for the Council and its very well paid housing director and executive staff to enlighten everyone where exactly the huge over spend of £73 Million pounds has been expended upon. The time has come for a meeting with the relevant Directors CEO and leader, to answer the questions with the press present and be accountable in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Public office.

      As I understand from many of the residents at Regina Road, that their complaints were ignored for years. A point found in the independent reports . So put very plainly where was the money spent ?

      I await with interest to learn what the housing officers are employed to do .
      If the B& B’s are poor why is the council even placing people in them , thereby adding to their plights ?

      Where is the accountability from the Council?

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