Watch our member Susana explain Lambeth’s trick to homeless families when they approach the council for a homeless duty. We have written a more detailed blog post about this scheme here.
As Susana asks Lambeth council herself in the video, she wants Lambeth to let her remain on the social housing waiting list until she can bid successfully for a council home back in her home borough. We are supporting Susana’s demand to Lambeth council and we demand an end to this scheme which disadvantages homeless families, particularly migrant families.
This scheme does not help homeless families – it only helps Lambeth council to:
- Kick families out of Lambeth
- Reduce their homelessness statistics
- Kick families off the social housing waiting list
Lambeth council are exploiting vulnerable families’ desperation for secure council homes. They convince homeless families to give up their homeless duty (where they would be placed in band C and told they will never get council housing) and accept a private rented offer in return for being put into band B. But if the private rented offer is outside of Lambeth, then in 2 years time, the family are kicked off Lambeth’s housing waiting list. Lambeth council have lower homeless statistics and families are forced out of borough, in 2 years time, they are off Lambeth’s waiting list completely.
Homeless families need council housing – Lambeth council should not be turning access to council housing into a gamble. Instead of creating schemes like these targeted at vulnerable homeless people, Lambeth council should be doing everything they can to make sure there is enough council housing for everyone who needs it.
As well as supporting Susana’s case and other members in our group affected by this scheme, we will continue campaigning on this issue, and we are also looking at possible legal challenges.