Deputy Mayor intervenes to keep residents in their homes

28 November 2014

The Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh, has intervened to stop the sale of properties in Raynesfield, Merton and ensure residents can remain in their homes.

The Deputy Mayor visited Raynesfield on Thursday (27 November) at the invitation of local Assembly Member Richard Tracey (Con) to speak with residents who faced the prospect of eviction from their properties, managed by Crown Simmons.

Following discussions with local ward councillors and Raynesfield residents, the Deputy Mayor has today (28 November) signed a formal decision to halt the sale process and has introduced new guidelines for how such cases are handled in future.

Under the new MOPAC guidance, existing tenanted properties comprising multiple units will only be disposed without affecting existing tenancies to a new owner – such as a housing provider or local authority – who offered the occupants similar or better terms. This now means such residents would not be forced to move out as a result of a sale.

Commenting on the decision, Stephen Greenhalgh said – “I wanted to speak with residents personally to understand their situation so we could find the best way forward. I was not happy with how they had been treated and I was not prepared to see key workers like nurses, carers and teachers, forced to move out of their homes. I have stopped the sale process for Raynesfield and introduced a new approach so that eviction of long-standing tenants, some of whom are key workers, cannot arise in future. The Metropolitan Police is not a landlord, but it is right that we find new owners for sites like this that can give tenants the security they deserve. I am grateful to the local MP and ward councillors for bringing this matter to my attention and I am glad that these residents are no longer left in limbo.”

Notes to editors

• The Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) owns the MPS estate across London and the Deputy Mayor for Policing & Crime (DMPC) is responsible for decisions around estate changes, closures and disposals. The Property Services Department of the MPS handles all sale, marketing and tenancy matters directly themselves or with estate agents, local authorities and housing providers.

• Raynesfield is a residential apartment building managed by Crown Housing in the borough of Merton. In common with a number of other sites across London, it was originally accommodation to house serving officers and the Raynesfield site was eventually leased to Crown Housing (now Crown Simmons). Disposal of such properties is in line with MOPAC objectives and it has never been the intention for the MPS to be a landlord as accommodation services are best offered by housing providers or local authorities for whom this is their core business.

• MOPAC remains committed to disposing of surplus MPS operational and residential properties, in order to make savings to reinvest in frontline policing. Any vacant residential properties will continue to be sold for best value on the open market, in accordance with the MOPAC/MPS Estates Strategy 2013-16 (March 2013).

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