Charities warn there are fewer and fewer legal aid housing lawyers in practice [Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA].

When the Conservatives cut the amount of money available for Legal Aid, they knew this would happen.

Deep cuts to other forms of housing legal aid introduced by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012, bureaucratic obstructions and poor hourly rates have progressively driven most lawyers specialising in housing out of the market, leaving few practitioners.

This was the plan.

People may still be entitled to advice, but if no company provides it, what can they do?

Of course, nobody cares until they are put in danger of becoming homeless – and by then it’s too late.

It reminds This Writer of that famous verse by Martin Niemoller.

If you don’t know it (and all Vox Political readers should; I’ve quoted it often enough), look it up.

Thousands of people are being made homeless every year because they cannot find lawyers to help them resist eviction, charities are warning.

Even though legal aid is available to help anyone in danger of losing their home, there has been an 18% decline in the number of challenges brought, at a time of record repossessions in the private rental market.

The latest figures, highlighted by the Legal Action Group (LAG) and the homeless charity Shelter, reinforce warnings by the Law Society that “advice deserts”, where few, if any, lawyers are left in practice who are capable of dealing with legal aid housing cases, are emerging across England and Wales.

Source: Thousands left homeless by shortage of legal aid lawyers, say charities | Society | The Guardian

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