'Morally questionable': Families evicted as police sell off their Wimbledon homes
Public service workers are being evicted from their homes as police cash in on the inflated property market.
Residents of 30 Griffiths Road, a police-owned block of flats in Wimbledon town centre, have been told they will have to leave by the end of March.
But as nurses and council workers, they won’t be able to afford to live in the area, where the average house price has soared to £617,000 this year.
Cem Yener, a council worker who lives in one of the flats with his wife and two young children, said: "All of us work for the community.
"We do not want to leave. We put our daughter's name down for a school place when she was 18 months old and were over-the-moon to hear she has a place.
"We don’t have another option yet and it is very stressful."
A St George's Hospital nurse who also lives on the site, said: "My kids have grown up here.
"They are asking me, where we are going? I don't know what to tell them."
Profits from the sale of the estate, owned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC), will be invested in police property, technology and vehicles.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "The retention of a property such as Griffiths Road does not directly support front line policing and as such is no longer sustainable."
The address is home to nine families living in two-bedroom flats, each paying about £580 rent per month, in addition to bills.
Some residents have been there for fourteen years, investing their own money in redecorating and maintaining their homes.
Andrew Judge, Labour Councillor for Abbey ward, is calling on MOPAC to allow tenants to buy the their flats on a shared ownership basis.
Coun Judge said: "The property is owned by a public body, the police, not developers.
"It is their legal right to terminate their tenancies but they also have a social responsibility to members of the local community and the evictions are, I would say, morally questionable."
Crown Housing Association, that were leased the property by the police, has offered to try and find accommodation for tenants elsewhere in London.
The association said tenants were warned of the temporary nature of the housing offer before signing their rent agreements.
MOPAC have been selling off residential properties across London as part of their 2013-16 Estate Strategy.
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