Prison officers may be forced to quit their jobs and leave their homes after reports their monthly rent will increase by £1,000 - despite earlier assurances they would continue to pay subsidised rates.
The 60 Wormwood Scrubs officers, who live in Bromyard Avenue and Alexander Close, Acton, have enjoyed reduced rents, with long-term tenants paying around £150 a month.
But now they could face paying around £1,150 per month, and many feel they have been victimised and will not be able to afford the rent.
A friend of one officer - they are gagged by the Official Secrets Act - said: "They need help as they won't be able to live, especially if they have children and will struggle to make ends meet.
"The option of quitting has been discussed as they would be better off unemployed and rehoused and they have not even received a pay rise to compensate for the massive rental increase.
"There are 40 officers on high rent which is lower than the market value and 20 on low rent, and when Berkeley Homes bought the land we were told they would pay the same rent as now in the new homes to be built. It would be a shame if the officers had to move out as it's like an oldfashioned community there."
Brian Caton, of the Prison Officers' Association, believes the rent hike is a tactical move by owners Berkeley Homes.
Mr Caton said: "It's a punitive measure to drive people out their houses so they can sell them off for luxury homes rather than housing for key workers.
"The staff are extremely concerned and it's shameful that these people, at the heart of the judicial system, are being forced out of their homes by exorbitant rent.
"Prison officers face major difficulties with assaults and with the rising number of offenders, the subsidised rent was needed to attract people to the job.
"The government should intervene to protect them."
Berkeley Homes denies assuring tenants they would continue to pay reduced rental rates.
Managing director Angus Michie said: "We entered an agreement with the prison service to provide 63 new apartments at an agreed rental level and I can categorically say no-one mentioned the continuation of subsidised rent.
"I can understand it is a shock to the system to pay more rent but they were lucky to have benefited from the dramatically reduced rent for a period of time.
"It is a big increase but it is not up to us to justify and eventually when the home office lease runs out, they would have had to find alternative accommodation anyway."