Twitter Storm @Lambeth_Council this Thursday from 12pm – Stop pushing homeless people into the private sector!

Children lying in the small, cramped room of private accommodation.

Children lying in the small, cramped room of private accommodation.

Join and share our facebook event here

Since 2012 councils across the UK have been granted the power by the Coalition government to discharge their duty to homeless people with an offer in the private sector and manage their own social housing allocation policies. Before the Localism Act homeless people who the council had a duty to house would eventually get secure, affordable social housing in their local community. Now, homeless people can be forced to accept accommodation in the private sector where they are at risk of more evictions and homelessness as well as being forced out of their home borough and even beyond London because of high London rents. Scroll down to the bottom of this blog to read a HASL members experience of being forced to go through this process by Lambeth council.

The Localism Act means increased housing precarity, social cleansing, and yet more public subsidy for private landlords through housing benefit. Homeless people are having their lives made even more difficult by these policies which deny them much needed secure, social housing. What is left of our social housing stock is also at risk as councils’ new housing allocations policies (basically heavily restricting who can apply for social housing) make it look like there is less demand for social housing when in reality demand for quality, secure, truly affordable housing is massive.

The Focus E15 mums, who were threatened with being moved out of their home of Newham to Manchester and Hastings, have been taking action on this issue for a year now under the banner ‘Social Housing, Not Social Cleansing’. In our previous blog, we look at how the Localism Act is playing out in Lambeth with Lambeth council lowering the band that homeless people are in meaning that they are unlikely to get much needed social housing, while at the same time playing a trick on homeless people, encouraging them to find private sector accommodation with the promise that this will move them up a band and closer to social housing.

We think manipulating people like this and denying social housing to those in need is wrong! Everyone deserves affordable, secure, quality, social housing.

At the same time the leader of Lambeth has made sure to speak at MIPIM, the “worlds largest property fair”, in London next month. No doubt Lib Peck wishes to welcome more speculative money and unaffordable developments wrecking our borough.

Enough!

If you are on Twitter join us this Thursday between 12pm and 2pm to Tweet at Lib Peck and Lambeth Council. Help us ruffle some feathers and get some answers.

We want to know:

– Why is Lambeth council failing homeless people by forcing them into the private sector?

– Why has Lambeth adopted an allocation policy that undermines the demand for social housing while tricking applicants that their chances of social housing will be improved?

To tweet at Lambeth Council add @Lambeth_council to your tweet. To tweet at Lib Peck add @cllrpeck

Click below to use our tweet buttons.

HASL members experience of being stuck in temporary accommodation and pressured into the private sector.

“I am a mother of 2 little ones. One thing that I never thought about is by having a family our lives will be really hard. I had to quit my job when I had my 2 children due to the cost of the nursery. Rip off.

And unfortunately with time our family become homeless we were living with a friend in his council flat and Lambeth repossessed the flat and put us in a temporary accommodation in Upper Tulse hill (this temporary accommodation is on a council estate and was formerly council housing until it was bought under Right to Buy. Now the council are paying housing benefit to a private landlord for a temporary home which had once been secure social housing).

I feel directly touch by this social cleansing in Lambeth, we are trying to get our head out of the water but Lambeth and this new policy about housing keep pushing us inside the water to drown us more and more maybe until we died who knows !!!

We live in a constant fears our situation is just unfair because we can’t access to affordable social housing we have to stay poor. Lambeth push us to rent privately with ridiculous amount of rent that we can’t afford with no other choice, and if we can’t pay rent then we have to move out from Lambeth… we are harassed, blackmailed and not respected as human beings by Lambeth and this new law.

Us people in temporary accommodation we are like a donkey who run behind the carrot that we will never get. You go to private and I move you to band B, that is a disgrace.

I am trying to get back to work and can’t apply to any job as I need to make sure I will still get housing benefit to be able to pay my expensive rent otherwise will get homeless again. Basically Lambeth keep us in this situation, a Labour party which should help us, don’t.

My heart is in Brixton and I will fight to stay where I belong to, the more we are the stronger we will get.  We can’t be treated like animal because we are homeless.”

HASL and the London Coalition Against Poverty are researching into the Localism Act and how it is playing out across London, as well as planning actions on the issue. Get in touch if you’d like to be involved or if you’d like to share what’s happening in your borough. haslemail[at]gmail.com

 

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