I dropped out of society to save my sanity: My Wigan Pier Story

As part of our Road to Wigan Pier 2017 project, 80 years on from the publication of George Orwell’s essay, rough sleeper, Raymond Slater explains how sleeping rough saved his sanity
Raymond Slater, 55, has been homeless for the last 15 years and is currently living in Manchester. After struggling to manage on benefits, he dropped out of the system to ‘save his dignity’. As he tells Claire Donnelly, he has never been happier.

I spent years trying to find work, going to interviews, signing on and it was a constant stress. I was living with the worry of not having any money, paying the bills, fear of losing my flat and it was just a horrible way to live.

The system tells you all the time that it’s your fault, that you aren’t doing enough but there just weren’t any jobs there. I’d done stuff like security or working in supermarkets in the past and I was applying for up to three jobs a day but there wasn’t anything.

You can’t get a job if they’re not there.

I was trying to run a house on £50 a week and it’s hard. So I decided to leave it all behind. I got on a bus and got out of there. Now I don’t even sign on. I’ve got a bike and my rucksack and I can find places to eat and get washed.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/dropped-out-society-save-sanity-10782292

 

100 tenants a day lose homes as rising rents and benefit freeze hit

Charities demand action to tackle toll of soaring housing costs, welfare cuts and ‘no fault’ evictions.

A record number of renters are being evicted from their homes, with more than 100 tenants a day losing the roof over their head, according to a shocking analysis of the nation’s housing crisis. The spiralling costs of renting a property and a long-running freeze to housing benefit are being blamed for the rising number of evictions among Britain’s growing army of tenants.

More than 40,000 tenants in England were evicted in 2015, according to a study by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). It is an increase of a third since 2003 and the highest level recorded. The research appears to confirm fears that a mixture of rising costs and falling state support would lead to a rise in people being forced out of their homes. It will raise concerns that even those in work are struggling to pay their rent.

High numbers of “no-fault” evictions by private landlords is driving the increase. More than 80% of the extra evictions had occurred under a Section 21 notice, which gives a tenant two months to leave. The landlord does not have to give a reason and there does not need to be any wrongdoing on the part of the tenant.

read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/100-tenants-a-day-lose-homes-as-rising-rents-and-benefit-freeze-hit/

Number of homeless children in temporary accommodation rises 37%

Councils across England are providing temporary housing for around 120,540 children with their families – a net increase of 32,650

Councils across England are housing the equivalent of an extra secondary school of pupils per month as the number of homeless children in temporary accommodation soars, according to local government leaders.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said councils are providing temporary housing for around 120,540 children with their families – a net increase of 32,650 or 37% since the second quarter of 2014.

It said the increase equates to an average of 906 extra children every month.

The LGA said placements in temporary accommodation can present serious challenges for families, from parents’ employment and health to children’s ability to focus on school studies and form friendships. The LGA, which represents 350 councils across England, said the extra demand is increasing the pressure on local government.

It said councils need to be able to build more “genuinely affordable” homes and provide the support that reduces the risk of homelessness. This means councils being able to borrow to build and to keep 100% of the receipts of any home they sell to reinvest in new and existing housing, the LGA said.

Council leaders are also calling for access to funding to provide settled accommodation for families that become homeless.

Martin Tett, the LGA’s housing spokesman, said: “When councils are having to house the equivalent of an extra secondary school’s worth of pupils every month, and the net cost for councils of funding for temporary accommodation has tripled in the last three years, it’s clear the current situation is unsustainable for councils, and disruptive for families.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/22/number-of-homeless-children-in-temporary-accommodation-rises-37?

The displaced tenants paying the true cost of an inhumane housing policy

Councils must commit to a more humane, thoughtful and cost-effective social housing policy than moving people away from jobs and homes

Moving halfway across the country when you are already vulnerable causes huge emotional and health problems.

read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2016/dec/02/human-cost-benefits-cap-tenants-shunted-england-councils

 

Young couple with no money, no bed and no home forced to sleep in tiny tent in field

Jade Macey, 20, and Lewis Godfrey, 19, have spent the last week bedding down in a field because they don’t have ID documents to show to the council

young couple have been forced to bed down in a tiny tent in a field because they have no home , no bed, and no money.

The pair claim they have received no help after they were unable to present their ID documents to the council because of a rift with their families, which means they can’t go home.

Jade Macey and Lewis Godfrey have been sleeping for the past couple of months in a field in Bishopsworth, south Bristol, near to Lewis’s former family home.

Neighbours are rallying round the couple, providing them with somewhere to store their camping gear during the day, and to use bathroom facilities and hot drinks.

Jade, 20, and Lewis, 19, have both ended up without a home because of family breakdowns – the most common reason why young people end up homeless, reports the Bristol Post.

After months of sofa-surfing, sleeping on friends’ floors and even snatching a few minutes’ sleep in 24-hour McDonald’s restaurants, the couple settled on a tent in the field around a week ago.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/young-couple-no-money-no-10407877#ICID

Don’t hold your breath, Theresa May tells homeless

A Parliamentary Question on homelessness today from Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh either caught the Prime Minister unbriefed or showed how totally complacent she is about the growing numbers of people being left without a home. McDonagh’s question (view here) came from the Corbyn mould, being based on the experience of a constituent. She asked: Last […]

via Don’t hold your breath, Theresa May tells homeless — Red Brick