A homeless member of HASL , who is also a survivor of domestic violence, has been housed by Barnet council out of the borough in a room with no cooking facilities and which has badly affected her health. She has been left in this completely unsuitable accommodation* for 10 weeks now and the council had not responded to the lawyer representing the HASL member until last week. The council have finally accepted the accommodation is unsuitable but have not given any timescale for when they will actually move her.
She has yet again been left in limbo about her homeless duty by Barnet council. A homeless duty had been accepted by Kensington & Chelsea council in November 2016, who referred the case to Barnet council as Kensington and Chelsea decided that she had a local connection there – despite our member’s strong arguments that she wished to be housed by K&C as she had a local connection there also. Barnet should be honouring this homeless duty. Instead they have been denying that it existed and have made the HASL member provide documentation numerous times. The delays have also meant she has no housing waiting list account and does not know which Band they will place her in.
Barnet council’s treatment of our member is totally unacceptable. We know these cases are not ‘one offs’; they highlight the very poor provision and treatment that homeless households and survivors of domestic violence are forced to endure. From denying emergency accommodation, not opening and processing homelessness applications, and not giving a duty when a duty has already been accepted. But together, through supporting each other in our group, we demand better! We demand Barnet Council houses her in suitable accommodation within Barnet and accepts the homeless duty that Kensington & Chelsea council found she needed.
*Why the accomodation is unsuitable? The HASL member has a complex medical history, being under the Integrated Disability team in Lambeth, Adult social services in Barnet and has carers to assist her. The HASL member has been placed in accommodation with no kitchen or access to warm food, no kettle, no microwave. She has been placed in a accommodation limiting her carer to carry out her care needs and placed in a room with not enough space for mobility and care equipment. The HASL member’s basic human rights have been breached as well of her continued placement resulting in injuries and determent to her physical, psychological and emotional well being. She feels that Barnet have continuously treated and discriminated her this way as she has no where to go and due to her disabilities is scared of being street homeless.
A quote the affected member found particularly important: