In a powerful display of community support and activism, ACORN Birmingham successfully prevented the eviction of a struggling mother and her ten-year-old daughter in Quinton. The family had faced the threat of eviction due to rent arrears accumulated after a significant rent hike last April.
On June 5, approximately 20 community campaigners and neighbors joined forces with ACORN Birmingham to stand in solidarity outside the property, forming a human barrier to block the bailiffs from carrying out the eviction order. The campaigners linked arms, determined to protect Toksheen, the 37-year-old mother, and her young daughter from homelessness.
Their united efforts proved effective when an emergency court order was granted at the last moment, providing Toksheen and her daughter with a crucial seven-day reprieve. This decision allowed them to remain in their home while the county court reviews their case.
The situation that led to the threat of eviction shed light on the challenges faced by many tenants in the city due to soaring rent costs and housing benefit payment issues. The rent increase of £175 per month, pushing it beyond what Toksheen could afford, was exacerbated by technical problems that resulted in her housing benefit not reaching the landlord for several months. As a result, she accumulated nearly £3,000 in arrears, including costs.
Jesse Winney, the member defense organizer for ACORN Tenants’ Union Birmingham, emphasized that Toksheen’s case is not isolated, with many eviction cases occurring throughout the city.
Toksheen expressed her gratitude for the support she received from ACORN during this challenging time. The organization provided her with valuable legal advice and a strong sense of community, standing by her side during her ordeal.
The successful outcome of the peaceful protest highlighted the power of collective action and community solidarity. ACORN Birmingham’s commitment to ensuring the well-being and security of tenants in the face of housing challenges exemplifies our core belief that “THE PEOPLE UNITED WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED.”