Category Archives: Homelessness

Is Priti Patel’s latest pronouncement an attempt to have homeless people murdered?

I’m only using this image because I haven’t got one of her dressed as a Nazi.

‘Dumpy she-Hitler’ Priti Patel is at it again, it seems.

Only a day after it was claimed her attack on “activist lawyers” she said were frustrating the removal of migrants led to a “violent, racist attack” in a London law firm by a knife-wielding man – who actually injured a staffer…

… she is now calling for homeless people to be deported:

Priti Patel has been criticised for allegedly planning to deport homeless people who repeatedly engage in low level crimes.

The home secretary has reportedly asked Home Office officials to discuss new immigration rules that would make it easier to deport rough sleepers who engage in “persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour”.

It is understood Patel wrote to ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans, according to the Mail on Sunday.

After it was revealed, the scheme was blasted by commentators who warned “somebody is going to end up getting hurt”.

Damn right – somebody is going to get hurt. Most likely, it will be a homeless person (or many), attacked by people of similar mentality to the knife-wielder in the London law firm mentioned above. Or the lawyers trying to stop them being sent to Ascension Island.

And it occurs to me that Priti Patel must know this.

She knows that somebody got hurt after she had a go at “activist lawyers”.

Only an irresponsible (or psychotic), homicidal fascist would then suggest that another societal group should be targeted for deportation in those circumstances.

But that is exactly what she has done.

So it seems to me that the UK now has a Home Secretary who is deliberately trying to incite people to commit the crime of murder.

Source: Priti Patel criticised for ‘planning to deport homeless people’

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Tory u-turn over eviction ban – but is it really the reprieve renters needed?

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Faced with a widespread campaign, supported by the media, the Tories have done what they always do – and u-turned on the plan to restore tenant evictions.

Landlords would have been able to evict tenants from August 24 – for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed in March.

But now the Tories have extended the ban… for just one month.

Why so short a period? And what’s going on with all the conditions and caveats they’ve applied?

Apparently, after the ban ends, landlords won’t be able to evict anybody for a further six months – until March 2021 – because they’ll only be able to issue notice of evictions from the new date the ban ends (September 20).

So when is the ban actually ending? September 2020 or March 2021?

And Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said possession cases brought by landlords will be heard again “when the courts reopen” – after the summer vacation? After lockdown restrictions are lifted? Where’s the clarity.

It is fair enough that what Jenrick calls “the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators” be handled as soon as possible.

But I wonder exactly what will be done for renters who are falling behind on their payments during the four week delay that couldn’t be done during the previous six months.

People need protection from losing their homes; they are more vulnerable to it now than at any time since This Writer was born.

But most of that vulnerability has been created by Conservative politics.

So what are the Tories going to do? And why haven’t they done it already?

Source: Eviction ban extended for another month in last-minute government u-turn – Mirror Online

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Child homelessness numbers when Covid-19 hit the UK shame us all. What will they be by Christmas?

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Stop evictions: this is a years-old image – still relevant today because of cruel Tory policies that push poor people onto the streets.

How did the fifth-richest nation on the planet manage to allow nearly 130,000 children to be homeless when a killer virus swept over the country?

The statistic should be a source of national shame, even though I’m not convinced by the Mirror‘s claim that it is the worst level of child homelessness in 14 years.

This Site reported in December 2018 that 131,000 children were set to be living in bed and breakfast accommodation that Christmas.

But I think a worse figure is yet to come.

Earlier this week, This Site commented on claims that reports of people living on the streets have rocketed since the Covid lockdown was enforced in March.

Children weren’t mentioned specifically but you can be sure that they were among those who had been turfed out into the gutter.

And how many children will be forced out of the protection of their home when the moratorium on evictions ends on Sunday (August 23) and landlords are again able to throw tenants out for no reason at all?

This Site has a tradition that I try to continue every year: in December I report the number of children set to be homeless at Christmas.

Every year since I started – back in 2012, if I recall correctly – that number has increased by tens of thousands.

I shudder to think what it will be by Christmas 2020.

Source: Homeless children hit 14-year high as 130,000 stuck in B&Bs and temporary shelter – Mirror Online

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Was the scheme to rehouse the homeless during the Covid lockdown another big Tory dud?

Robert Jenrick: when it comes to doing what’s right, it seems he’ll avoid every opportunity that comes his way.

It seems homeless people really are invisible – to the media, at least.

The Tories told us they were putting people who sleep on the streets into temporary accommodation – with a scheme called “Everyone In”.

Except it turns out that everyone wasn’t in.

Even by the Tories’ own estimation they only managed to bring 90 per cent of then-existing homeless people out of the open air and behind closed doors.

And that estimation comes from Robert Jenrick. What are his words worth?

Not a lot, it seems:

In June, the Office for Statistics Regulation criticised ministers for a lack of transparency by quoting figures without publishing supporting data.

Homelessness charity Streetlink is reporting that reports of people living on the streets rocketed by 36 per cent, year on year, for the period between April and June 2020.

Notifications were also higher than the previous quarter – January to March – which is unusual as they usually rise during the winter months.

According to the relevant charities, it seems the Covid crisis – and the Tory government’s lame response – has led to an entirely new cohort of people becoming homeless as the services and facilities on which they relied closed down.

People who did not have access to public funds – and some of us made loud noises about this at the time – were particularly hard-hit, especially people from foreign countries.

So the jingoistic Tories found yet another way to hammer Johnny Foreigner.

The information puts us in a nightmare scenario of escalation, with the Tories silent on calls to extend the ban on evictions, that ends on August 23.

So it seems the plan is to dump half the population in the gutter while we’re all looking the other way.

Source: Reports of rough sleeping in UK rose sharply during lockdown | Society | The Guardian

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Tory ministers silent as they’re urged to prevent ‘wave of evictions’

Homeless: this man was photographed living on the streets in Birmingham before Covid-19. Who knows how many more will be living there – prey to the virus – after August 23?

The government’s moratorium on evictions ends this week, putting tens of thousands of people in danger of eviction – in the middle of the biggest recession the UK has ever experienced.

The Tories have been urged to safeguard the people under threat – but they are strangely silent. One wonders whether they would be so quiet if their fellow Conservatives were being turfed out of their stately homes for any reason.

So when the ban on evictions in England and Wales ends on August 23, it seems likely to signal a wave of homelessness, with people forced onto the streets to face joblessness (as a result of the Tory recession), illness (because of the Tory failure to fight Covid-19) and the cold (because winter is coming).

Landlords in England have been able to issue notices of eviction three months in advance of taking possession; in Wales, the Labour government has ordered that they cannot take possession before six months have elapsed.

No reason need be given for them to take possession. Boris Johnson has promised to end “no-fault” evictions in a new “Renter’s Reform Bill” – but he has shown no inclination to bring such legislation to Parliament.

Previous prime minister Theresa May had made the same promise, but she never brought such a Bill to Parliament either.

And there really are a lot of private landlords stuffing the Tory benches in the House of Commons.

Of  course, evictions and homelessness will have a knock-on effect on the economy – at a time of recession – as it costs the government and the emergency services more to help homeless people than it does to keep them housed.

The Tories know this because they’ve seen the same evidence I have.

And yet they are silent.

It seems they are more keen to inflict cruelty on others than to do their job – which is to run the country efficiently. Wasn’t that always the way with the toffs?

Source: Ministers have just seven days to prevent a ‘wave of evictions’, MPs and charities warn | The Independent

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?


I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich.

In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit.

Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place:

I’m not claiming credit for calling a thing by its name – this is “multiple discovery”, “simultaneous invention”, “synchronicity” or, if you like, an expression of the “zeitgeist”. More and more people are simply coming to realise, understand and accept that it is the policy of the UK’s Conservative government to push them down unfairly.

That is what the decision – and it was a decision, deliberately made – to punish ‘A’ level pupils who weren’t from private schools was all about. Yes, Gavin Williamson and the other Tories are saying it was down to a mechanical system, an algorithm – but that algorithm was written by a human being who intended it to give an advantage to the children of very rich people.

In this way, the Tory class war has stolen your children’s futures and given them to the undeserving rich.

It’s what the decision  – and it was a decision, deliberately made – not to fight Covid-19 in any meaningful way was all about. Tens of thousands of people in care homes have died – your relatives, maybe – because Matt Hancock and the other Tories said people with Covid-19 who lived in those homes should be sent back to them – never mind the fact that they did not have isolation facilities and the virus would run through those places like wildfire and be transferred to others by part-time staff who worked in different homes run by the same – private – firm.

The Tories – and their private business collaborators – failed to source personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and the facilities to carry out tests. The lockdown they imposed was half-hearted and failed to stop the progress of the disease. Now that they have lifted it, albeit with a few measures still in place, more people are contracting the virus again. So they have stopped reporting the daily number of infections.

And the Tories have rewarded their private business collaborators for their failures with hugely expensive contracts to continue failing us – all at the public expense. Serco’s test and trace contract has been renewed, even though we know it won’t stop any second wave (really just a resurgence of the first wave that was suppressed but never went away).

You won’t get justice against the Tories by the normal means available to civil society because the Tories have either corrupted them already or are in the process of doing so. Boris Johnson illegally terminated Parliament’s last session in the autumn of 2019 and what was the result? He called a general election, lied to us until he was purple in the face and was rewarded with an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

Now he is using that power to ensure that the courts will not be able to stop any more of his corruption by planning a curb on judicial review of government activity. He is imposing a dictatorship – just as he told you he would, if you could have been bothered to read page 48 of his election manifesto.

The police won’t help. Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and the others are all above the law – no matter what they do. Try reporting a cabinet minister for a crime and see how far you get. They’ll tell you they’re treating it seriously, bounce the accusation around a few different departments and then say there’s no evidence. I’ve been there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already because it is Tory policy to kill claimants of sickness or disability claimants, who they consider to be “useless eaters”. That’s why the newspapers have been full of reports showing people with long-term illnesses and disabilities starving to death.

They wanted your homes so they imposed the Bedroom Tax and took them away from you.

The list goes on and on.

And still, too many people think they are the best choice to run the UK – even though the economy is in its deepest recession ever, and Brexit means it may never recover. You will suffer – they won’t. They have been stockpiling your cash and will simply use it to sit out any unpleasantness in the future.

But I feel sure a tipping-point will come – a flashpoint. I wonder how much we will all have to lose before that happens. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much everything.

By then, many people may think there is nothing they can do. I am reminded yet again of Martin Niemoller’s poem about how the Nazis came for different groups who received no help from anybody else until, by the time they come for the author, there was nobody even left for him to ask.

But I am reminded of another group who were put in a similar position. When I visited Bosnia in the 1990s, I was told how – when the tanks from other countries moved in – the people, who were weaponless, left their homes and went up into the hills. They came back at night, when they took weapons – and lives – from the soldiers who had taken everything from them. And slowly, they took back their land from their oppressors.

I can see that happening here in the future.

I would rather it didn’t.

But it will, if people of good conscience don’t wake up, get up and put up a fight.

Keir Starmer won’t do it. He agrees with the Tories. That’s why he’s busy turning the Labour Party into Tory Lite Mk II (New Labour was Mk I) and accusing anybody who disagrees with him of anti-Semitism.

If you don’t want this to fall into violence, then you need to think what else you can do.

The ‘A’ level fiasco creates opportunities. Already some further education institutions have said they will take students who were downgraded, on the basis of their predicted results. Some haven’t. Clearly we should take note of the side that each University, each college, takes. Those who do the right thing should be rewarded in whatever ways we can. Those who do not should be shunned – meaning not only that we should not even try to send our children there, but that we should reject their graduates when they seek employment with our businesses. We know they won’t be any damn good anyway.

And employers who turn down applicants on the basis of the Tory algorithm’s discredited results should also be named, so we can stop buying their products.

That’s the best – non-violent – response I can conceive on the spur of the moment, and these things need to start happening now.

We’d better get to it, if we don’t want to roll over and die. And yes, that means you.

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Is rough sleeping set to rocket amid claim Tories are quietly withdrawing hotel room funding scheme

Back to the streets: do the Tories think the coronavirus crisis is over so they can dump homeless people back on the streets?

Homeless people are set to be forced back onto the streets after it was claimed the Tory government is quietly scrapping a scheme to house them in hotels during the coronavirus crisis.

According to the Manchester Evening News,

Civil servants have told Greater Manchester officials that the scheme – known as ‘Everyone In’ – is no longer being funded by central government and that March’s original Covid guidance to local authorities has been scrapped.

So far 1,600 homeless people with nowhere to self-isolate have been put up in emergency accommodation here during the crisis, including hundreds in hotels, as authorities were directed to protect them from the spread of the virus.

But a leaked report to the region’s combined authority reveals the Ministry for Communities, Housing and Local Government has now ‘drawn a line’ under its programme and has told councils it will no longer be funded, although no ministerial statement has been made to that effect.

The government denies reneging on its commitments.

Indeed. Here‘s RightsNet:

The government has said that it does not recognise clams that it is winding up its support for rough sleepers helped off the streets during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government press office has said:

“We do not recognise the claims made by Greater Manchester Combined Authority in one of their internal reports which was leaked to the media.

“Any suggestion that the government is reneging on the commitment set out at the start of this national emergency is entirely wrong. We have been clear councils should continue to provide safe accommodation for those who need it, and any suggestion that funding is being withdrawn or people asked to leave hotels by central government is entirely incorrect. This misleading information causes unneeded anxiety and confusion for vulnerable people at an already difficult time.”

Others see the matter differently:

https://twitter.com/CorbynistaTeen/status/1261392134118076416

Who’s right?

Well, we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?

All we have to do is check whether we see more people sleeping on the streets.

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Coronavirus: since lockdown, hundreds are now homeless in Manchester alone

Andy Burnham: he’s Mayor of Greater Manchester. What’s the situation everywhere else?

So how well do you think those Tory policies to protect us all and keep us in our homes are doing?

According to Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, 344 people had been recorded as newly homeless and requiring accommodation between the time the coronavirus lockdown was imposed and April 22.

He said 115 people were sleeping rough.

On top of this, people are being released from prison with nowhere to go, and government support – announced for people found to be homeless before lockdown – isn’t available for the newly-homeless.

Oh – and evictions haven’t stopped completely, despite Tory promises.

That’s just in Greater Manchester. What’s happening to the rest of the UK?

Source: Hundreds of people have become homeless during the coronavirus lockdown says mayor of Greater Manchester | Granada – ITV News

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Coronavirus: homeless families moved into unsafe buildings. What good will THAT do?

Unsafe: these tower blocks on the Ledbury estate, Southwark, are in danger of fire or collapse – and the council has put 60 homeless families into empty flats there.

What’s the thinking behind this? If the disease doesn’t get them, the building might collapse on them instead?

Southwark Council (Labour-run, God help them) has moved homeless families into an estate of tower blocks that require major works to make them safe from fire or collapse.

The four towers on the Ledbury estate have many empty flats because they are unsafe.

They were built using the ‘large panel system’ construction method, which became notorious after the partial collapse of Ronan Point in Newham in the 1960s.

That’s more than 50 years ago! Why was nothing done about these buildings decades ago?

Families who were living in temporary accommodation with shared bathrooms and kitchens are being moved into 60 empty flats in the towers, to allow them to self-isolate during the coronavirus outbreak.

Southwark reckons it has agreed “extra safety measures” with the fire service in order to ensure the flats are safe to occupy.

What’s the last time we heard of a council making arrangements with a fire service about the safety of a tower block? Ah yes: Grenfell Tower.

What can possibly go wrong?

Source: Inside Housing – News – Homeless families to be moved into blocks with systemic safety issues amid coronavirus crisis

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Coronavirus: Hotel housing for rough sleepers – but how do B&B users self-isolate?

Endangered: People who sleep on the streets are more likely to catch coronavirus, and more likely to have respiratory conditions that make them vulnerable to serious harm if they do catch it.

This may strike fools as foolish but the wise will understand.

People who live on the streets are as likely to catch the coronavirus as anybody – more so, as they have no way of isolating themselves and the virus can be airborne.

They are more likely to have underlying health conditions including respiratory diseases, which could make the effect of coronavirus on them far more serious.

And if they remain on the streets, they are equally likely to transmit the virus to many more people.

Soup kitchens and day centres have been closing with little or no warning.

So the Mayor of London’s office is to be applauded for booking rooms with the Intercontinental Hotels Group to ensure that homeless people have space to self-isolate.

The Big Issue has taken its vendors off the streets; supporters will be asked to provide funding online for the duration of the crisis.

But there are concerns over families who have been placed in temporary accommodation like bed & breakfast establishments by councils that could not find permanent homes for them.

That’s a fault of Tory governments, of course; council houses have been sold off without enough cash being provided for replacements to be built.

And Tory policies are likely to have put people in need of accommodation in the first place – because of the Bedroom Tax or wage depression, or other policies that clamp down on the vulnerable.

So again we see that Tory short-sightedness has endangered people.

Source: Coronavirus UK: Rough sleepers will be housed in central London hotels | Metro News

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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