5 HASL families who are statutorily overcrowded have faced huge delays and refusals by Southwark council to give them the priority on the council waiting list that they qualify for.
Southwark council have been aware of one family’s case since May 2016 and for the other 4 families, since July 2016, however, the families are still stuck in the severely overcrowded and unsuitable housing. The parents are particularly worried about the impact on their children of these overcrowded and unsuitable housing conditions.
The council’s allocations policy is clear enough – households who are statutorily overcrowded who have not caused the overcrowding by a ‘deliberate act’ qualify for priority on the housing register. However the council have insisted the families caused the overcrowding deliberately, despite being given evidence from the families that this is not the case. The families have been deeply hurt and insulted by the idea that they caused these situations on purpose. The council have also acted very slowly on dealing with these families urgent cases, with emails not being replied to for months.
Please email Southwark’s councillor for housing Stephanie Cryan stephanie.cryan[at]southwark.gov.uk to express your support for these families and concern at the treatment they have faced from Southwark council (cc us in too on haslemail[at]gmail.com!). Please demand that they are given the band 1 priority that they qualify for and that victims of the housing crisis are not blamed for this crisis.
These families have already endured homelessness and have endured terrible, overcrowded housing conditions for years.
Why is the council insisting that the families caused the overcrowding deliberately when we’ve provided enough proof to show this is not the case? No one would choose these living conditions!
Why is the council blaming these families instead of supporting them?
Why will Southwark council not follow their own allocations policy?
These families have done everything they can to improve their living conditions, it’s up to Southwark to do their part.
Here’s the email I just sent to Stephanie, please feel free to copy and/or share your emails here too!
As a supporter of Housing Action Southwark and Lambeth, I’m really concerned to hear about the treatment of 5 overcrowded families by the council. Why are the council not following their own allocations policy which is supposed to provide help for those in high housing need? These cases seem pretty simple to deal with, the allocations policy is clear enough too. Why are the council insisting the families have caused the overcrowding deliberately? No one would put their families in this position. It shows a gross lack of understanding of the housing crisis we face. And the families have provided the council with evidence to show they did not cause their overcrowding. Finally, why have they faced such long delays in their correspondence with the council?
I hope that these cases can be fully resolved as quickly as possible so that the families have their rightful place on the housing register. I hope to hear that there are positive developments concerning these cases.
Yours sincerely, Isabelle