Defend the Counihans! Fight evictions in Brent!

The Counihan-Sanchez family from Kilburn is continuing to resist attempts by Brent Labour council to make them homeless for a second time. The Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign (CSHC) is supporting the family and continuing to fight all evictions and cuts in Brent. The family of seven was made homeless by Brent after they declared £18 a week income from a plot of land in Ireland. Since April 2012, the family has been in shoddy accommodation in Ealing which costs Brent council £500 per week.

Brent declared the family to be ‘intentionally homeless’ and sent the family a bill for housing benefit (HB) overpayment of £76,000 which has since been reduced to £25,000. A recent HB tribunal found Isabel to be a credible witness but still found in Brent’s favour, supporting the council’s claim that the family had not declared the income from the land. Brent claims that they did not receive the letter sent by the family and the Irish Centre in January 2010 but they have no convincing explanation as to why they decided to put up the rent at the same time. The family has launched a further appeal against the HB decision.

Meanwhile a notice to quit letter arrived from Laurence Coaker, Brent’s Head of Housing Needs saying that Brent wanted the family out of their temporary accommodation by 27 May. The CSHC is holding a street party at the family’s address in Ealing on 27 May to show our support and to warn Brent that there will be opposition if they attempt to remove the family.

Jimmy Mac

For more background on the campaign please see the campaign video at:

• Sarah Counihan, aged 16, speaking at the Benefit Justice Summit held in London on 11 May: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdBSbTCgE40

• Facebook pages: Counihan Battlebus and Counihan Sanchez Housing Campaign

• You can support the Counihan Family Campaign by making a Paypal donation at: http://tinyurl.com/counihan-donate

• Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign 07958 157 392


Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 233 June/July 2013