11:30AM, Friday 15 July 2016
A homeless protester who had spent several weeks camped outside the town hall has been housed.
Jason Verdaguer, the co-founder of Born SL6, was presented with the keys to his one storey flat on Friday.
He had protested since April about the homeless situation in the Royal Borough, and camped outside the town hall with the other co-founder, Ben Derriman.
They have argued that the council needed to do more to house homeless residents, emphasising their long standing connection to the area, and have variously demanded meetings about the problem with Theresa May MP and councillors.
Mr Verdaguer did not wish to reveal where he was now living, but he has been homed locally.
He said: "First of all, I would like to say thank you very much to Councillor Dudley.
"I have been homeless now nearly a year.
"The best thing about being homed is having a telly. I just watch the news."
His plans now include looking for a job and supporting himself, though he said he is still determined to campaign for homeless people in the borough.
He has been provided with a grant, which he says was approved by the council, to purchase important appliances such as a cooker.
The flat consists of a living room, bedroom, kitchen and a bathroom.
With no carpet yet in the property, he had set up a mattress in the bedroom and stood a TV on a cardboard box.
He said: "Born SL6 is not going away."
Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Riverside), the leader of the council and lead member for housing, said: "We have found him a house which we are delighted about.
"We have been providing some support for him.
"We gave him some cash just to get some things.
"He will have to do a couple of things with our support services.
"We are hoping to sort Ben out as well."
He added that he was continuing to talk with the Brett Foundation about setting up a halfway house and a day centre.
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