This council has found a despicable way to forcibly remove elderly tenants | The Canary


It seems this council visited a tenant with medical professionals (none of whom were his doctor), in order to have him sectioned and removed from his home, allowing officers to take possession.

They were stopped by the gentleman’s friends and supporters.

Suppose he had not had any?

An 81-year-old social housing tenant has been forcibly removed from his home in South London, despite public and political opposition. Artist Tony Healy had been fighting against the eviction from his housing co-op, where he has lived for more than 30 years. Until, that is, Lambeth council made an unexpected move: sectioning him under the Mental Health Act.

Lambeth council began eviction proceedings against Healy in 2012. His ‘short-life‘ property is owned by the council, which lets them to tenants for fixed-term periods. However, in 2015 all four Vauxhall parliamentary candidates fought against the eviction of vulnerable tenants from these properties. They wrote to Lambeth council Chief Executive Sean Harriss about Healy’s case.

Despite this unified political opposition, Healy received another eviction notice dated 5 February 2016. The council then visited him on 2 March to persuade him to move voluntarily. According to Lambeth United Housing Co-op, the council were accompanied by medical health professionals.

On 3 March, Healy received a note saying he would be sectioned. Around 1am on the morning of 4 March he was taken to hospital, reportedly as a result of a second section order. He has also sustained a broken arm and hip for which he is being treated. Neighbours who have visited Healy say “these injuries appeared to have happened accidentally”. Campaigners against Healy’s eviction claim that Lambeth Council officers and bailiffs then tried to seize his house on 4 March, after he was removed. This effort was thwarted by his supporters.

Get involved!

Sign the petition against Tony Healy’s eviction

Attend the demonstration on 13 March against the Housing and Planning Bill, which will further exasperate social housing shortages

Source: This council has found a despicable way to forcibly remove elderly tenants | The Canary

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15 thoughts on “This council has found a despicable way to forcibly remove elderly tenants | The Canary

  1. David Woods

    Those responsible should firstly be sacked!
    Secondly; Arrested and charged with Harrassment, illegal eviction;
    The ‘medical staff’ need to be either struck off, taken off medical duties and the head of the council in question should have already resigned, though doubtful he will and most certainly booted out with a 100% vote of no confidence!

  2. autismandate

    As there is no other way in this supposed democracy we need the American second amendment so we can defend ourselves from this oppression and shoot our way out.

  3. Darren Woodiwiss

    Surely Lambeth Council should be prosecuted for deliberate misuse of the Mental health act, where are the safe guards for this… One flew over the Cuckoos nest anyone?

  4. Terry Davies

    all the comments are spot on but this should be seen as a warning of whats to come if we leave the EU. think no human rights! unless an individual goes to strasbourg courts probably have to wait 8 years and highly likely that this poor man would have died by then. likely to have become a victim of tory cuts or ripped off by pension companies too. Thought hed spend the remainder of his life in familiar surroundings when he is subjected to the stress of eviction.
    if he is not mentally ill to an extent of using the section legislation then where will he live when discharged from hospital
    if he dies within a year from the stress of eviction its technically an unlawful killing. who is to be held accountable???

  5. Jean Casale

    Have signed the petition, and written to the leader of the Council as follows:


    I am utterly appalled about the Council’s treatment of one of their long standing elderly residents.

    To explain the situation I would ask you to read the following:

    That a Labour councillor and Council, could treat a resident in this way is unbelievably one of the cruellest acts anyone could imagine, especially from the Party whose pledge says:

    The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

    Would you please be good enough to tell me why you have decided to
    harrass an elderly man in this way. I am asking you to let Tony stay in his home.

    Yours sincerely
    Jean Casale

  6. Dez

    So the Cons have a total disastrous record with totally negleting Mental Health patients and those in needs……yet here we are using health resources illegally to evict someone on the basis of mental health issues….so they can find the resources when it comes to achieving their dubious ends. Which are??? What is their evil end game? Who wants his flat so desperately for their own ends that can make puppets of local government officials and officers. Needs urgent investigations to root out such corruption and malpractice and dismiss all those tainted with this sorry tale so they cannot enforce on anyone else. They are not fit to be in any office of any sort other than the gutter where they all belong……

  7. bevchat

    Has Britain suddenly become Nazis… would expect this of them….but this is absolutely appalling and despicable….I agree those responsible in Lambeth Council should be sacked and the medical staff involved also struck off….they are a disgusting creatures!

  8. hellsbells46

    Something isn’t right here. The Mental Health Act cannot be used in this manner. If you section someone, you section them there and then. You then remove them to a place of safety. You certainly do not give them a note telling them they are to be sectioned. To be sectioned you must be deemed a safety risk to yourself or/and to others. It is a very hard task to section someone, as a retired CPN, I have experienced the frustration of trying to have someone who is clearly very unwell, clearly unsafe with regards to his own wellbeing and others sectioned, it’s like trying to round up cats.

    I don’t know what happened here, I am very concerned that misuse of the MHA is alleged. I’m leaving the link here with regards to the act. The mental health services are on life support and cannot be abused in the manner alleged.

  9. Phil Lee

    If they can get him out of his home that way, the Tories should be very careful about antagonising the NHS – the whole cabinet are diagnosably enjoying every moment of their Antisocial Personality Disorders, going from either the DSM or ICD criteria. No wonder Jeremy rhyming slang won’t actually meet with the doctors.
    It seems clear that unlike the cabinet, Tony poses no threat to himself or others that would justify his being sectioned.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      According to the Guardian ( “In the 1970s, councils purchased and emptied a number of properties for regeneration projects or demolition. These projects eventually fell through due to a lack of funding and, with councils unable to afford to bring them up to the legal minimum standards to rent them out, they designated the properties as “short-life” homes and allowed people to live in them paying little or no rent.

      “Lambeth is the last borough to deal with its short-life portfolio, which peaked with about 1,200 properties. It is now looking to sell off its remaining 50 homes. At the end of last year, Lambeth council committed to bringing its existing council housing stock up to the decent homes standard. However, with only £450m raised there is a £56m shortfall.”

      So basically, this is housing that the council, as landlord, wants to sell off to fund improvements to it’s council housing stock, pitching the current tenant, who is in his eighties, into the street. Incidentally, Lambeth Council has managed to get all the money it needs, so there is no reason for this eviction.

  10. concernedkev

    Like Hellsbells46 I too am a retired CPN and think there is a major abuse of the Mental Health Act here. Especially if the opinions of family or friends think it was not right.
    The major problem here is that his own GP or other carer was involved in the decision.
    Was he given access to a designated Social Worker to review this section.

  11. Sucheta Kumari

    I know someone who was illegally sectioned – evidence was made up and it involved doctors, social workers, police and GP. Whilst in hospital, this person reported seeing a disabled woman, who had been abandoned by her husband, disappear. There was also evidence of abuse involving another patient. This person believed that people were deliberately being sectioned and then vanish, especially if they were vulnerable and were isolated. The government makes sure that any supporters are bullied into neglecting their relatives. It the same strategy that Hitler used to get rid of disabled children – on the pretext that they were being trained but then never heard of again.

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