Tag Archives: estate

Court brands ‘no benefits’ rule by landlords illegal in disabled dad’s landmark case

A disabled dad suffered unfair discrimination when he was made homeless because a landlord did not accept people who receive state benefits.

The ‘no benefits’ rule meant Stephen Tyler was banned from viewing properties advertised by a Birmingham estate agent, purely on the grounds of receiving housing benefit.

Mr Tyler, 29, had been involved in a road accident in 2016. He was made homeless because of the estate agent’s “no benefits” rule.

Birmingham County Court ruled that the estate agent had breached the Equality Act because the rule disproportionally affects disabled people, who are more likely to need some support with paying their rent.

Judge Mary Stacey ruled that: “There is no doubt that there was a blanket policy that no one in receipt of housing benefit would be considered for the three properties. It put the claimant and other disabled people at a particular disadvantage when compared to others.

“To be told simply, because of his benefit status, that he could not apply for three properties which were perfectly located for his children’s school, his GP and health needs, and extended family support, […] would be distressing.

But “no benefits” discrimination is still going on (sometimes it is called “no DSS”, in reference to the former government department responsible for benefits.

This case was brought with help from homelessness charity Shelter, which has vowed to keep campaigning until the discrimination is completely stamped out.

Source: Disabled dad wins high court battle after estate agent banned him for claiming benefits – Mirror Online

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Government enacts more of its ‘out of sight, out of mind’ policy on people sleeping rough

Red light for rough sleepers: We are told the ‘night shift’ left their tunnel, which led to Elizabeth Tower, every morning at 6am and tidied up after themselves.

Parliament has installed rolldown shutters on an underpass leading to the Parliamentary estate, preventing a group of rough sleepers from staying there overnight.

The homeless people involved had been meticulous in their behaviour and saw no reason for the draconian move.

But This Writer recalls the fuss after two homeless people died within sight of Parliament last year.

Rather than act to help stop people from becoming homeless, Parliament acted to remove homeless people from the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster.

The policy has become known as “out of sight, out of mind”.

And I think this is part of it.

It doesn’t matter how well-behaved these people are; the fact that they exist is a reminder of the real effect of Conservative government policies in the fifth-richest economy in the world.

A group of rough sleepers who describe themselves as the parliamentary “night shift”, moving into an underpass leading to the parliamentary estate after MPs have left for the day, have been barred from accessing their relatively safe bed space underneath the street.

The group of about 10 rough sleepers formed a distinct community with rules of conduct. They made themselves invisible from MPs and parliamentary workers and visitors during the day and only emerged after 11pm to lay out their cardboard, newspaper and sleeping bags in the exit 3 underpass from Westminster tube station to the parliamentary estate.

None of the group were involved in begging, substance abuse or rowdy behaviour and those who joined had to abide by the group’s informal code of conduct, especially being willing to get up before 6am to vacate their nocturnal space before parliament’s daytime business begins and leaving the tunnel clean and tidy with no newspaper, cardboard or food and drink waste left behind.

Source: Westminster rough sleepers evicted from parliamentary estate | Society | The Guardian

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