Mother in homeless campaign evicted by landlord
A mother who featured in a homeless charity campaign was forced to move into a temporary hostel last week, after being evicted by her landlord.
Sandra Munoz-Alvares, 38,was living in Ingrave Street, Battersea, but last year was served notice to leave the flat she shared with her young son after not being able to afford a rent increase.
She lost her eviction case the week before Christmas and the bailiffs turning up to her house last week.
Ms Munoz-Alvares, an unpaid voluntary worker, found it impossible to find affordable accommodation in the borough because the Local Housing Benefit cap limited the amount she could spend on accomodation to £290 a week.
She is now living in a temporary hostel in Balham with her five-year-old son, until the council finds them permanent accommodation.
The volunteer now acts as a spokesperson for homeless charity Shelter, having featured in a poster campaign on the tube during Christmas to raise awareness of the rising tide of homelessness.
She said: "I have been re-housed for six to eight months. There are just two rooms, I share a room with my son and there is a living room/kitchen area.
"I want to go back to Battersea. It is not nice to be powerless, I can't choose where I get to live.
"I don't know if Shelter helped me, but I hope it helped other people and let them know what is happening. Homelessness will keep on rising."
She said she has been forced to quit her voluntary role in York Gardens Library and committee position parenting group Wowmums because it was too far to travel.
But the former media student hopes to make the best out of a bad situation and plans to make a documentary about life in the hostel where around 100 homeless families.
A spokesman for Wandsworth Council said: "Throughout this whole process we have supported and assisted Ms Munoz-Alvarez.
"We offered her clear advice about her housing options and intervened on her behalf with her landlord to ascertain his intentions.
"As soon as it became clear that she could no longer reside in that property we found her somewhere else to live and ensured that she and her son had a roof over their heads."