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

DWP slammed for “shambolic” Universal Credit roll-out

MP demands figures on how many people are being put on Universal Credit in error

An MP has blamed the DWP for creating homelessness over its “incompetent” processing of Universal Credit claims.

It emerged last week in a Glasgow City Council report into the impact the scheme was having on its services that homeless people in the city has been placed on the new scheme in error by the DWP.

Now Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, is demanding answers from the DWP as to how many more homeless people across the UK have been placed on the controversial scheme in error.

The report, published by the Glasgow City Joint Integration Board, found that 73 homeless people have been put on Universal Credit, despite DWP guidance instructing homeless people being exempt from the new scheme.

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Westminster Council goes 16th Century on the homeless

Mike also put up a post yesterday reporting that Westminster council has decided on another authoritarian way of dealing with homelessness. They’re going to round them up and send them to other councils outside the borough from January 30th. The council’s excuse for this disgraceful policy is that it’s to combat the high cost of […]

via Westminster Council Goes 16th Century on the Homeless — Beastrabban\’s Weblog

Universal Credit leaving people destitute

Glasgow City Council report says Universal Credit is compromising its services to homeless

Evidence has emerged that large numbers of claimants on Universal Credit (UC) are struggling to survive in Scotland’s biggest city.

A report detailing the impact of the new scheme in Glasgow shows not only are claimants struggling but the controversial scheme is putting services and jobs at risk also.

The report, by Glasgow City Council, says that the problems are being further compounded as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been mistakenly transferring homeless people onto the initiative.

They have been exempt from UC until the city fully rolls out the new system in 2018 but the DWP, it discovered, has been registering homeless people in the city regardless.

It means by the time the error is fixed, many registered homeless people have gone days without accommodation costs, leaving them destitute.

According to the report, a total of 73 homeless people in Glasgow are now on the benefit, and have racked up £144,000 in arrears between them.

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Number of private renters made homeless has trebled since 2010, figures reveal

Private renters account for 96 per cent of the rise in homelessness since 2010

The number of private renters being made homeless is at a near-record high and has more than trebled under the Conservative government, an analysis of new official statistics by The Independent has found.

Thousands of renters each month are being deemed officially homeless by local councils after being evicted by private landlords and struggling to pay rents that have risen across the country by more 20 per cent since 2010.

The figures show a huge rise in people becoming homeless at the end of assured short hold tenancies (ASTs) – the most common agreement used by private landlords – since 2010.

In the year to September 2016, 18,820 private renting households were made homeless, compared with just 5,580 in the year to September 2010.

Critics accused Government ministers of “sitting on their hands” while renters face increasingly stark consequences if they fail to keep up with soaring rents.

Private renters at the end of their tenancies made up just one in seven homeless households in 2010. Today, that has risen to one in three, meaning the proportion has more than doubled in just six years.

Private tenants being evicted by a landlord at the end of a tenancy is now the most common cause of homelessness.

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Britain’s shame: the people who are homeless, even though they’re in work

So many of those on the minimum wage and zero-hours can’t afford a place to live. Yet ministers gloat

The people you are about to meet are invisible. Politicians don’t mention them. Much of the media ignore them. I can see why. To say such folk exist is to admit that much more is wrong in Britain than the gatekeepers of our national conversation will allow. It’s to accept that some of our prized insights about the economy are junk, and to understand, however fleetingly, how little stands between the rest of us and complete disaster.

For all that, they are as real as you or me – and they are fast growing in number. They are people who are homeless, even though they are working.

I met some of them last week, at an emergency night shelter in the centre of London. Their jobs are with some of our biggest companies and local councils. At the end of a working day, they come back to this warehouse unit to sleep in a metal bunk bed alongside 42 others. The men share one toilet, women the other. Among the homeless, this counts as a good ticket: Shelter from the Storm provides dinner and breakfast.

Around one in three of the people bedding down here are in work. The night I went, the charity’s co-founder, Sheila Scott, looked down the list of guests and identified their employers. It was a roll call of Britain’s consumer economy: Starbucks, Eat, Pret. A woman who travelled three hours to work at a Co-op grocery. Pubs, McDonald’s, a courier for Deliveroo.

The former Tory minister George Young described the homeless as “what you step over when you come out of the opera”. No, Sir George: today’s homeless deliver your takeaways and pull pints at the local. Then they kip on park benches. Martin, who works for Islington council taking disabled children to school, told me how he’d spent a month sleeping either in Hampstead Heath or by the canal near London Zoo. “I was exhausted all the time,” he said. Some mornings, he’d knock for the children still clutching the bag that held all his belongings.

This month, the charity Shelter calculated that over 170,000 Londoners are homeless. Its researchers pieced together the data for how many were both in a job and in temporary accommodation: it amounts to nearly half (47%) of all homeless households in the capital.

Figures like these, and shelters like Scott’s, neatly puncture many of the official boasts about work in post-crash Britain. The ministerial bragging about record employment? That economic miracle would include a third of the people dossing down at Scott’s place. The smugness with which David Cameron talked about the high-tech sharing economy? The Uber driver in that bunk over there might put him right on a few things. All the blether about how strong unions will destroy the economy? The casualised workforce in these improvised dormitories make a good argument for labour protection.

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