Monday, December 5, 2022

The homeless of London are moving to Thurrock reveals survey

A LARGE NUMBER of London boroughs are buying and renting property in Thurrock and other nearby towns as part of plans to house their homeless.

The survey revealed in The Guardian highlights that the councils are acquiring the properties for vulnerable families due to welfare cuts and high rents.

Full report here:

The councils are making the plans due to what is described as the “perfect storm” of high rents and welfare cuts that will kick in from next April.

Defending their actions, the councils say they are in an impossible position with no option but to reluctantly kickstart an exodus of poorer families from the capital by placing homeless households in cheaper areas such as Thurrock.

Draft guidance issued by ministers in May says councils must “as far as is reasonably practicable” secure accommodation for homeless families within their own borough. This was ordered by the then housing minister Grant Shapps in the wake of reports that Newham council planned to relocate households to Stoke-on-Trent, a proposal Shapps, now Conservative party chairman, described as “unfair and wrong”.

Guardian research shows London councils have acquired rental properties in Thurrock and Luton, Northampton, Broxbourne, Gravesend, Dartford, Slough, Windsor, Margate, Hastings, Epping Forest and Basildon.

Councils said the exodus of homeless families was inevitable because there is virtually no suitable private rented temporary accommodation for larger families in London that is affordable within government-imposed housing benefit allowances, which are capped at a maximum Β£400 a week.

All but four of the 33 London boroughs responded to the Guardian survey. Seventeen said they are already placing homeless families outside the capital, or have secured or are considering temporary accommodation outside London for future use.

Hackney council, which said it currently manages to house 93% of families accepted as homeless within the borough, and the remainder elsewhere in the capital, said it was now “reluctantly looking to procure accommodation outside London”.

MPs are expected to debate regulations which will set out the detail of how the benefit cap will work at a Commons legislation committee meeting on Tuesday.

The Child Poverty Action Group report, based on detailed interviews with 11 London local authorities, found many working households will also face substantial income shortfalls as a result of housing benefit caps.

Although it had been anticipated that affordable private rents in expensive inner city areas such as Westminster would be scarce, the acute housing shortage in the capital means market rents outstrip benefit cap levels in cheaper outer London boroughs including Haringey, Waltham Forest, and Barking and Dagenham.

Families have already begun to move from inner London to the capital’s outer boroughs, with more expected from this month as transitional support for families affected by the housing benefit caps runs out. The government had hoped that the housing benefit reforms would force landlords to reduce rents to within cap limits.

But councils say the spiralling demand for private rented property from tenants priced out of the housing market means most landlords see no reason to drop rents, and a substantial number say they will no longer consider renting to people who are claiming housing benefit.

Some councils have estimated that up to a third of families affected by the introduction of the Β£26,000 benefit cap, the local housing allowance cap and under-occupation penalties, known as the “spare room tax”, will lose around Β£100 a week. They face the option of finding work, moving into smaller and cheaper accommodation, or presenting to the local authority as homeless.

75 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like our links with Barking and Dagenham may mean we will soon be welcoming some more new residents. I can’t wait!

  2. This is Labour’s legacy coming home to roost. Mass immigration combined with an unaffordable welfare state. A housing market where demand outstrips supply by about 300% a year. An entire generation of british children robbed of their chance to have their own home without having to banmkrupt themselves to get it. Well done Labour. Where are all those peole that supported Labour and their mass immigration policies. I hope they are very happy indeed.

  3. Great, just what we need, the dregs of London being housed in Thurrock, as I have said in the past this is just one more step towards The London Borough Of Thurrock πŸ™

  4. “They face the option of finding work, moving into smaller and cheaper accommodation, or presenting to the local authority as homeless.” Funny how they never choose finding work!

  5. A stupid Tory policy which belived Landlords would reduce rents! Up rooting communities and those that do work will probably have to seek support. The Support workers in London are the worst hit but Tories do not care. No change short term profits and in the end higher wage demands for London Business.

    In an interview with BBC London, London Mayor – Mr Johnson said: “The last thing we want to have in our city is a situation such as Paris where the less well-off are pushed out to the suburbs.

    “I’ll emphatically resist any attempt to recreate a London where the rich and poor cannot live together.

    “People will always cry and say that I am at war with David Cameron and try and get a headline out of that, but the fact is we are in detailed negotiations with the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions), Iain Duncan Smith and his officials.

    “What we will not see and we will not accept any kind of Kosovo-style social cleansing of London.

    “On my watch, you are not going to see thousands of families evicted from the place where they have been living and have put down roots.”

    Too late Boris. Anyway Boris Island is next.

    Tories out of touch. Locally and nationally.

  6. Vince63 uses the old ‘Tories out of touch’ meme. But what are they out of touch with? Out of touch with people not wanting those on benefits earning more than those in work? I don’t think so, that particular idea is very popular. Out of touch with not wanting people being given expensive housing in expensive areas when people in work can’t afford to buy a house in those areas? Stopping that seems to be a popular idea too. In fact, cutting back on the benefits burden on this country seems to go down very well with most people in work. Tories out of touch? I’m not so sure.

  7. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Not sure why the tax I pay on my Β£18k a year job should pay for someone in the same job as me to live in a million pound house in a swanky part of London that I could never dream of living in.

  8. I think someone should tell Boris that benefits are supposed to be a safety net not a lifestyle choice. Far too many people in this country, large numbers of whom probably shouldn’t be here or have arrived here in the last few years, expect the taxpayers in this country to subsidise their lifestyles. If the socialists believe that these people have a right to get tens of thousands of pounds in benfits in perpetuity, then they should hand over all their earnings and assets to the treasury to pay for it. If the Tories are out of touch, the socialists must be living on another planet.

  9. […] A number of London boroughs are buying and renting properties to house their homeless here in Thurrock and also in towns and areas such as Luton, Northampton, Broxbourne, Gravesend, Dartford, Slough, Margate, Hastings and Basildon to name just a few. They are making these plans to cope with what they describe as a β€œperfect storm” of high rents and welfare cuts that will kick in from next April. The London boroughs involved claim this is inevitable as there’s virtually no suitable private rented accommodation of any type of tenure that’s affordable within government imposed housing benefit allowances which will be capped at a maximum of Β£400 a week. Even in the so called cheaper outer London boroughs such as Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham, the acute housing shortage means that market rents are outstripping benefit cap levels. See here for the full story on your Thurrock: http://www.yourthurrock.com/2012/11/05/the-homeless-of-london-are-moving-to-thurrock-reveals-survey/ […]

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