NEWS UPDATE 22/1/09
FIREBIRD SOCIAL JUSTICE CENTRE 22.1.09
Justice not Crisis have received court papers for a possession hearing at The County Court Bull Street Birmingham. The owner J N (Warwick) Ltd, 22 Park Road Moseley has decided after 5 years he wants his property back !
The Hearing, which takes place in a public Court at 3.15 Tuesday 22 January, will be contested by JNC (Albeit we expect to see possession granted in favour of the owner)
There are currently several homeless people living at the Social Centre who will be on the streets if possession is granted immediately.
Our protest will continue and we will give details of our new address when we move! Supporters are welcome, even encouraged, to attend the Court, and support our cause. Press releases have been issued and we have already had several interviews for BBC news and Radio. The fight continues …
Good news The Board of Directors of Optima Community Association last night 21.1.09 agreed, subject to planning application and land surveys, to buy the site. The proposals are to build 31 socially rented homes. This is a massive victory for our campaign and the first socially rented homes to be indicated for building since we started, 29,969 to go and the waiting lists in Birmingham will be gone!!
News from Housing Scrutiny Committee comming soon…
Watch this space for more updates ….
PREVIOUSLY>>On the 18th December 2008, we reported that local residents had received a letter from Birmingham City Council stating that the owner of the Firebird was to commence demolition of the Firebird on the 8th January 2009.
Many members of JNC waited in all day on the 8th for the demolition crew and plant, they didn’t arrive!
It wasn’t a totally wasted day though, we spend our time cleaning up outside and in, making banners for the front of the building ( In preparation for our new drop in slot on Mondays) and improving security of the building.
We don’t know what the owner will do now, bearing in mind we haven’t been served a notice to quit which is the normal procedure prior to eviction proceedings. If the owner is a reader, could you please contact us so that we can reach a negotiated removal date as soon as the development agreement is signed.
At the end of last year we stated that we would reveal an update on the future of the Firebird. News has reached JNC that the owner is currently negotiating the sale of the land to Optima Community Association for a development of socially rented homes (Yes John Lines that’s how easy it is you sell the land and someone can build houses and people who need them can move in – try it!!)
Details are still in the early stages but we will keep you informed, if the information is true then we can vacate the building as soon as a development agreement is in place happy in the knowledge some much needed homes will be built.
News is awaited on a land purchase that could see more socially rented homes built – watch this space for updates…
Who is George Calthorpe ?? ( Email your answer to us) Our quiz of the year !! Over the last few weeks we have set a challenge to reveal the true identity of George Calthorpe, many of our members have spent a considerable time trying to answer this years greatest mystery – George Calthorpe- fact or Fiction ?? With help from our growing band of well wishers we are close to revealing the answer George Calthorpe is not extinct (Although he is Tory) but alive and well keep watching for updates >>>
Our first real success story – We are pleased to announce that of one of our most loyal supporters is leaving (Part time!) us to move into a new home – In November 2008 the BBC’ S news article carried the story of Colette http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/7703370.stm who had suffered a difficult few years following the death of her beloved mother. At the age of 16 she was thrown out onto the streets by an abusive father and spent several nights on the streets and in friends living rooms before living in a hostel for 2 years. It is with great pleasure to announce that after living with us since the first day of our land squat in October last year Colette has just been offered her first property and will be moving in very soon.
We would like to thank Midland Heart Housing Association, her new landlord, for giving her this long awaited opportunity, a home of her own.
She never gave up hope that she would get a place despite getting no help from Birmingham COUNCIL’S HOMELESS TEAM who stated she had made herself intentional homeless and suggested she had mediation with her father.
She was offered help from Trident Housing,who visited us at the John Lines Homeless Village, but was let down badly. She was was initially told they had several supported accommodation units in Cotteridge and she could “Have one of those” after several abandoned meetings to view the property, she was told the Housing Officer David had “left Trident” After several more phone calls she was invited to view a property and filled in all the forms – Trident didn’t even get back to her to say she wasn’t successful, despite their promise of accommodation while the TV camera’s were there!!! – Nice one Trident !!
She will be sadly missed, all members of JNC wish her well in her new home and hope we can give repeat stories for some of the other homeless people living with . Best of luck Colette, come and visit us when you can..
We would also like to wish JK all the best as he leaves us to travel to Eire to start a new life there. JK has been homeless for many years and has been with us from the second night of our first camp 31/10/2008. He had previously lived in a tent in Cannon Hill park for 6 months because he was unable to find accommodation.