Homeless Redbridge families move into Canterbury barracks

PUBLISHED: 11:57 09 September 2016 | UPDATED: 11:57 09 September 2016

The main entrance to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

The main entrance to Howe Barracks in Canterbury, Kent. Picture: PA/Gareth Fuller

PA/PA Photos

Almost 150 of the borough’s homeless families have now moved into a barracks in Canterbury, 60 miles away.

In May the Recorder reported that Redbridge Council had bought the former army compound to house people on its waiting list, despite criticism from the local city council.

The 147 homes at Howe Barracks are now filling up, with families reacting differently to the news.

Lavonn Grant, 21, who was moved with her one-year-old daughter Nevaeh from Ilford, said she “wanted to go home”.

“I was really upset when I was told I was leaving London, I just want to get back to my family,” she told the Recorder.

Lavonn said some new residents were angry at being moved to Canterbury, but others were happy with their new homes.

“Canterbury City Council have been really helpful, they came and gave us a welcome pack when we arrived,” she added.

A Redbridge Council spokeswoman blamed a “chronic shortage of affordable housing in London” for moving families so far away.

“The council’s starting point is always to try to find accommodation locally first,” she said.

“Due to the pressure in the housing market it has become increasingly difficult for us to secure enough local supply.

“The housing at Canterbury can provide homes to 147 families who had previously been living in temporary accommodation.”

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