London Domestic Abuse Charity for Black Women Wins Eviction Fight

Sistah Space has won the right to stay at its office on Mare Street after mediation with Hackney Council.
Inside the Sistah Space office on Mare Street in east London.
Inside the Sistah Space office on Mare Street in east London. Photo: Wunmi Onibudo.

Domestic abuse charity Sistah Space will return to its office on Mare Street in east London this week after being served an eviction notice by Hackney Council in August.

Following a high-profile fallout that saw the charity forced to leave its council-owned office, Sistah Space and Hackney Council have come to a new agreement through independent mediation. The charity, which supports victims of domestic abuse in the Black community, will now remain at the Mare Street premises until January 2021. After this lease has ended, Sistah Space will leave the office, allowing Hackney Council to rent it out to a commercial tenant.


A statement released by Hackney Council reads: “Both parties have agreed to move on from this regrettable dispute in relation to Sistah Space's use of rooms at 280 Mare Street. Hackney Council and Sistah Space look forward to working together in the months and years to come.”

Sistah Space moved to the Mare Street office in December 2019 after the council-owned building it had been using was deemed unsafe for vulnerable women and children. The charity was due to return to this building in March, following improvements carried out by Hackney Council. However when the pandemic hit and increased demand for domestic abuse support services, Sistah Space refused to leave Mare Street, maintaining that the old office was still unfit for use.

Ngozi Fulani, the founder of Sistah Space, told VICE News that she is pleased with the outcome of the mediation sessions.

“We are grateful for this minor yet massive victory,” she said. “We’re still are feeling very much like we shouldn’t have had to go through this in the first place.”

“We will move on from this, but we still have no safe space,” she added. “It’s great, it’s fantastic news, we’re all very happy, but we’re cautiously happy and it’s bittersweet.”