What Is Homelessness And Why Does It Happen?

HomelessWhilst people on the streets are one of the most visible signs of homelessness, the problem extends far beyond rough sleeping.  The majority of homeless people live in hostels, night shelters or B&Bs, but the impact of being without a home is still devastating.

Hostels and B&Bs provide relief in a crisis, and can be both the first step towards a solution, but also the first fall towards the streets.  The accommodation is insecure, short term and hugely expensive.  For single people it can mean sharing a room with strangers whilst parents are forced to share with their children.  In particular private sector temporary accommodation is often dangerous, damp, dirty and unmaintained.

Some hostels and night shelters are ‘direct access’ where most residents were formally living on the streets and have been identified by charity outreach workers.  These hostels have strict rules, sometimes not allowing access to the premises in the day time, with bed spaces being lost should a resident sleep elsewhere for the night.  Many long term street homeless people find adapting to such a regulated environment difficult, whilst others find the atmosphere, where drugs and heavy drinking are  commonplace (though usually banned), intimidating and frightening.

After a period which can be several weeks but sometimes months, most people are referred to longer stay hostels whilst waiting to be moved to some form of more sustainable accommodation – usually a council or housing association flat or bedsit.  Residents can be in long stay hostels for anything from six months to a couple of years.   Generally residents have their own rooms, albeit often little larger than a single bed.  Meals are sometimes provided and any facilities are shared.   Overnight guests, or even guests full stop, are often banned.  Homeless people aren’t allowed to have relationships.

Those in temporary accommodation, whether long stay hostels or B&Bs, have ‘licence agreements’ rather than tenancies.  This is more similar to the type of contract entered into when using a hotel and means immediate eviction should someone fall foul of the rules.

Temporary accommodation charges eye watering rents which are covered by housing benefits.  This makes it very difficult for those in long stay hostels to work.  Residents also pay a service charge out of their benefits to cover the costs of heat, light and water as well as food if available.  Service charge arrears result in eviction.

A final large group of homeless people are the so called ‘hidden homeless’.  People sleeping on a friend’s sofa, staying with family or squatting.  Other people live in a vehicles – whether on the side of a road or on a traveller site, some pitch a tent away from view, many sleep in derelict properties or abandoned garages.  This is often the first stage of homelessness as precarious accommodation collapses and people are left with nowhere to go but the streets.

Local authorities only have a duty to help those with children or who are ‘vulnerable’ which in practice usually means someone with a severe disability or those above pension age.   To qualify for help a homeless applicant must also have a connection with the local areas and not be judged ‘intentionally homeless’.  Families who are deemed ‘intentionally homeless’, having given up a property for some reason, or in some cases been evicted for arrears, may be told that the council will take the children into care but the parents can fend for themselves.  With huge strains on the amount of emergency accommodation available, most local authorities will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid helping anyone.

It has long been the fashion, amongst governments and homelessness charities alike, to insist that homelessness is something caused by people, personalities and individual behavior.  They point to some homeless people abusing drugs or alcohol, failing to find work, committing crimes and, worst of all, not doing what charity workers tell them to do.  But many homeless people are just poor and have run into bad luck, although it is hard to stay a perfectly productive member of society when your world has collapsed around you.  Homelessness drives more people to drink than the other way round.

One factor unites all of the experiences of homeless people and that is a lack of money.  Whatever other difficulties someone is facing there will always be a point on the journey to the streets where homelessness is a purely economic matter.

It could be an eviction or repossession, or someone unable to afford a deposit on a property or not able to pay for a cheap B&B for the night.  This is why the tsunami of cuts to welfare, and in particular housing benefits, will send homelessness soaring.  Because when people need that kind of help most, when life has taken a terrible turn, to strip away payments available for housing will mean the fall to rock bottom is assured.  People in desperate circumstances are not incentivised by having less money.  They are demolished.

Everybody knows that when people are under great pressure they do not always act rationally or in their own interests.  It is sheer bad luck that sometimes unfortunate and devastating events can happen in quick succession.  Desperate people do desperate things.  When a relationship breaks down, sometimes people turn to drink.  This can lead to problems at work and even dismissal, followed by depression and heavier drinking.  Benefits are unavailable due to being sacked.  Rent goes unpaid, friendships deteriorate, support networks dismantle.  Homelessness follows and it’s hard to sleep on a pavement sober.

None of this is unusual or outside of the realm of normal human behaviour.  It is called a downward spiral and it can happen in a million different ways to anyone.  There are former successful business people living on the streets of London right now, whilst the vast majority of homeless people had stable, fulfilling lives at some point.

It is only at the very bottom of this decline, that if you are lucky, the state might just step in and offer to try fix the problems they helped create.  And so begins a climb back through the system of night shelters, hostels and temporary accommodation that can take years.  One small slip along the way, breaching hostel or benefit rules, and it’s back to the bottom.

Homelessness has many contributing factors and subsequent effects, but remains at heart an economic problem.  That’s why, even before the cuts, a stagnating economy was causing homelessness to rise. The number of people without a home is set to soar due to a toxic combination of cuts, rent rises, wage or benefit freezes and law changes.  Every single one of those people will have a tragic story, and all too often one that begins with a letter from the DWP telling them that their housing benefit is being cut.

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110 responses to “What Is Homelessness And Why Does It Happen?

  1. I thought you were writing a novel there jv. There is no way in this day and age that anybody should be homeless. I notice you made no mention of those with more than one home, the holiday homes that are locked up for the winter etc. All of this homelessness has been manipulated by the greedy landlords dictating policies and that includes social housing landlords. The Don Mclean song Respect is very apt for the plebgate minister who is manipulating the police I suspect another huge payout out of the public purse is on the cards.

  2. ps perhaps people should start ignoring the unjust laws on squatting, again nicely timed before the introduction of benefit reductions.

  3. You missed a group; grown adults who because of a lack of money continue to live in their childhood bedrooms. I mention this because when aspiring to a fully independent life, not a mortgage, just living space separate from your parents is futile, it’s part of the overall deeply depressing picture of homelessness in Britain today.

    PS your blog it’s appreciated…

  4. @Johnny Void you have just described my situation perfectly !!!
    I would like to add if i may.
    Landlord=housing association who do everything on the cheap, gas, electric, maintenance.
    It all breaks down or falls apart. Eg laundry room was declared dangerous due to the fact that washing machine leaked and flooded and rotted floorboards.

    Next: social services replaced by housing association. Why?
    Because housing associations take over hostels to get more business, the duty of care gets forgotten about.

  5. Pingback: What Is Homelessness And Why Does It Happen? | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  6. And me, Bobchewie.
    Every day in the hostel,i went down for breakfast of 2 slices of toast, 2 hot drinks and a bowl of cereal, looked around at the gang and wondered what the fuck 90% of the lads were doing in there. Intelligent, resourceful, witty, and in some cases handsome blokes. On their fucking arses for no fault of their own. There were the one or two who could fuck up a brand new cunt, some on bail, probation out the big house, or on restraining orders from a family house, a couple of addicts, but all of em give or take were amiable folk, who in no way deserved to be in there…

  7. And as JV rightly points out the circa £300 per WEEK!!!! housing benefit payment plus £27 per week “Service Charge ” meant you’d be fucking insane to get a job, it was catch 22 in there, in that respect.
    Oh yeah Stonham can kiss my fucking brown eye for the £68 arrears for the 2 days where HB was swapped to the new flat and i still had a place

  8. Hell yeah, arguing over smokes is de rigeur – Rollies and virginia gold leaf are the currency in all institutions ;)

  9. Your post jv only serves to highlight the fact that homelessness is about to get worse – again why should it when as chewie states there are empty apartments everywhere, except that they were built as a tax loophole but priced out of the reach of ordinary people.
    Nobody is offering a way out or a hand up for these people, we can all write charles dickens novels of how bad it is but what is anybody doing about it except telling people it is their behaviour that can put them back on the bottom rung of the ladder.
    Where did all these bloody control freaks come from that are prepared to create homelessness and poverty so that they can correct behaviour.
    May they rot in hell it is their behaviour that needs correcting.
    The tories may not be sucking up to the police but they sure as hell keep close ties with the armed forces should the police decide to rebel and stop doing this and future governments dirty work.
    Nobody is going to beg this government for anything I think they will do what they did at the end of war and demand it, they think they are only separating the dregs of society for this special treatment, the arse crawlers and wimps will be the slaves on shit wages.

  10. Johnny missed out the thousands of sofa-surfers out there…and the fact that the bastards have criminalised squatting, and the fact that the Liebour Party never did reinstitute ‘fair rents’, so now property speculating, ‘buy to let’ cunts are raking it in- then the Tories turn round and cap benefits NOT the rents of their own landlord supporters. Scum.

    • scum they are.

      mentioned sofa surfing under hidden homeless, wrote this to compliment a series of blogs summarising why homelessness is going to get worse due to things like the squatting ban which i may or may not get round to writing over christmas

      • Fair do’s- no criticism implied- I think you do a fucking great job! ;)

      • @Johnny Void and all. Ive been at this place for a few years now , 8 i think. And trying to find a way forward is quite confusing. In one attempt to relocate to another borough, that cpuncil nearly preventex me due to pickles localism bill, not all councils have put into effect yet cos they dont know how.
        I took this bill to mean, “we dont want you scruffy oiks in our back yard” i dont know if that is how it translates, however oddly enough i seem to have been accepted and slipped through the barbed wire fence so to speak.

  11. Those with mortgages seem to be unaffected, they have already been protected by quantative easing keeping interest rates low.
    Another song by Don Mclean The orphans of wealth still as prevalent today as it was in the 70’s. The other song respectable that I attributed to Andrew Mitchell although it was about a car crash where the guilty got off that is how I see this governments legislation, as a car crash of which they are all guilty.

  12. Who said local authorities only have a duty to house a certain sector of society? When did this change because it never was the case. Anyone who needs a home should be housed by the state. When did having a home become elitist?

      • Johnny is this to do with localism bill? Because if that is the case then i fear many will be stuck in hostels, thing is this some of the projects are being closed down.

        • no, the law states that councils must accommodate someone who presents as homeless if they are vulnerable, have children, a local connection and are not intentionally homeless. no-one else is eligible for support beyond advice – which usually means a photocopy of a list of local B&Bs which accept housing benefit, which are usually full or have closed down. there are some changes to the law taking place which means homeless people will no longer be given priority status for social housing, hope to cover some of this stuff in the next few days,

        • I should perhaps add that I’m not endorsing these laws, just pointing out what they are.

  13. I’m afraid I am not an apologist for corrupt laws.

  14. Excellent blog, JV. You’ve got the situation spot on.
    I was homeless and addicted once.
    I sorted myself out….eventually. I don’t know how. Survival instincts I suppose.
    Along the way I saw many many people die. Die, expire, cease to be.
    This is the fate awaiting many in this ConDemNation.
    Guaranteed.

  15. Pingback: What Is Homelessness And Why Does It Happen? | Mental Health, Politics and LGBT issues | Scoop.it

  16. I would have thought that anyone that is homeless is vulnerable so would therefore be eligible to be housed. Then we have deliberately made themselves homeless – if you were thrown into a home like that described by chewie( I can’t for the life of me see why he is still living there) you might want to make yourself deliberately homeless, if you end up in arrears does that constitute making yourself deliberately homeless? All of these hidden meanings in a single sentence yet not addressed.

  17. Johnny, up here in Scotland the law is about to change so that local authorities will be required to ‘settle’ (ie accommodate)all people who present themselves as unintentionally homeless, not just the ‘vulnerable.’ Well that’s the theory and on paper it is progress but we’ll see how it pans out. As I understand it , you still have to have a ‘link to the area’ to qualify which I presume is to prevent migration of homeless from rest of UK.
    Just in case any of my fellow Jocks are looking in,,,,

    • Sorry mate, you’re not a priority.

    • It is the The Homelessness (Abolition of Priority
      Need Test) (Scotland) Order 2012

      This does not apply to the rest of the UK where single (and it always single homeless persons) will still be expected to freeze to death on the streets.

      • Maybe, that’s why young girls have the babies… better than freezing to death on the streets…. just a thought…

        • Maybe. It just seems too neat though. There are as many (& more) reasons why young girls ‘have babies’, when they do, as there are for why women as a whole do so. Just thinking that a potentially homeless girl plans, then arranges to get pregnant ‘on cue’ for housing reasons is more like something a Bond villian would do.

          The assumption would have to be that girls (young women) have the luxury of time/sufficient warning of risk/eviction as well as an always effective use of contraception, which is something not all younger and even older people manage, all of the time. As well as the need to (with or without the father-to-be’s agreement) fall pregnant ‘at the right time’ – problems solved. It sounds way better than freezing to death when the two are put side-by-side – pregnancy usually would be preferable to death, assuming an uncomplicated pregnancy and a straightforward birth.

          Women in their 20s/30s/40s are seen as having the ‘benefit’ of previous experience of life and are supposedly more self-aware due to their years, might be in work and have a home, perhaps even a child/children. They are seen as having ‘more informed choice’. Even then, It’s a common experience at any age to have an unplanned pregnancy and the decision about what to do next is complicated as well as being extremely simple for many. Women who become pregnant later on than their teenage years are, rightly, not generally seen as trying to get what they can out of the system. (perhaps £81/month). Girls & younger women sometimes – not always – might be less likely to entertain termination as an option whatever their circumstances, than are older women – perhaps even more so in the case of their first pregnancy. (For reasons like family support (lack of)/moral and/or religiious beliefs/personal reasons). But the main factor behind ‘deciding’ to become pregnant (if it’s as straightforward as that), for even women in difficult circumstances who are young, isn’t, on the whole, the fasct that ‘a baby = a house’. For some women (at any age) becoming pregnant can be a huge positive in the midst of chaos/even something as serious as being at risk of homelessness. Who is going to suggest that they have a think before becoming a mum, because a baby = somewhere to live and could ‘look bad’?

          • … should read:
            “… the (often stated ‘fact’ that “a baby = a house”; (quote marks imp.).
            and then; “a baby = somewhere to live” – as in the regularly & wrongly publicised view that ‘one = a direct route to the other’ “.

            Also: it would be an ‘insecure’ plan (understatement of the year award) & likely to backfire in more ways than there’s space for here but that anyone with a baby/young child to look needs a secure place to do it. If we were a humane society, & this was the case, it would only then be feasible to start talking about whether “girls get pregnant purposely to get themselves a house” (if you are inclined to think along those lines). And if ‘proving need’ wasn’t the heartless ‘norm’ that it is, there wouldn’t be the type of stigmatising that’s gone on for years, alongside the many adults who find it deeply uncomfortable to accept that girls can have babies as soon as they are physically old enough & any suggestion of educating girls & boys about lies up ahead for them from an early age is viewed as ‘inappropriate'; ‘disgusting’ and vetoed..

    • Law to ‘end’ homelessness passed by MSPs

      Legislation which aims to effectively end homelessness in Scotland by the end of this year has been passed by MSPs.

      The change entitles anyone finding themselves homeless through no fault of their own to settled accommodation.

      It meets Scotland’s historic 2012 homelessness commitment, first set 10 years ago by the Labour/Lib Dem government.

      Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was Europe’s “most progressive” homelessness legislation.

      Ministers said the new policy would be in force from 31 December.

      Previously, homeless people with “priority need”, such as families with dependent children, had the accommodation entitlement from local authorities, but that has been extended to anyone finding themselves “unintentionally homeless”.

      The change, passed unanimously under the Homelessness (Abolition of Priority Need Test) (Scotland) Order 2012, will give an estimated 3,000 more people a year the right to settled accommodation.

      Ms Sturgeon described the move as “the most progressive homelessness legislation in Europe” – homeless households will no longer be subject to a test of whether or not they are in priority need.

      “Local authorities, their partners and the Scottish government have worked closely to ensure that the 2012 homelessness target is achievable,” she said.

      “This has meant focussing efforts on prevention, so less people are actually reaching the point of homelessness.”

      Official figures from February 2012 suggested the number of homeless people in Scotland is at its lowest for a decade.

      Law to ‘end’ homelessness passed by MSPs

      • All legislation in Scotland is “progressive”, well, according to MSPs. The Scottish Parliament does at times appear to follow a tabloid-style, “Scottish” Sun agenda which is apparent for instance in the obsession with making it easier to obtain “convictions” in criminal trials. MSPs have already abolished the “double jeopardy” law. Now they have MSP’s propose dropping the need for corroboration, abolishing the historic “not proven” verdict and a host of other infringements on the rights to a fair trial. A Law Professor has stated that the Scottish Parliament has done more to harm Scottish justice than 300 years of English rule. Although this legislation is welcome, is has to be said that the Scottish Parliament does and has passed some the most draconian, fascist/”progressive” depending on your viewpoint legalisation not only in Europe but the whole world. It is possible to be sent to prison in Scotland for a very long time for a whole host of offences which do not exist in the rest of the UK.

        • Holyrood ‘has harmed’ Scots law

          The Scottish Parliament has been accused of doing more harm to the independent Scots legal system than Westminster managed in 300 years.

          In an article in The Times, a leading legal commentator says legislation has often been passed to satisfy tabloid newspapers’ agendas.

          Solicitor-advocate Alistair Bonnington said huge damage had been done to Scots law by the Holyrood Parliament.

          He said long-held beliefs on the right to a fair trial had been dumped.

          Mr Bonnington, a former honorary professor of law at Glasgow University, cites the ending of double jeopardy – where an accused person cannot be tried twice for the same offence – as one example.

          Paradox and tragedy

          And he argues that proposals to end the need for corroboration and also allow juries to be told the previous convictions of a person in the dock represent “the destruction of two of the gold standards of Scots criminal law”.

          Mr Bonnington writes: “From the Union of 1707 until the present day, Scots law has managed to continue to exist, and sometimes even thrive, as an independent legal system within the UK.

          “It is one of the main things which has made Scotland different. Indeed, without Scots law, the claim to have distinct nation status would be absurd.”

          He continued: “It is a paradox and a tragedy that since 1999 huge damage has been done to it by the Scottish Parliament.

          “Sadly it is not going too far to say that Holyrood has done more harm to Scots law than Westminster managed in over 300 years.”

          He is particularly critical of MSPs passing legislation to make criminal offences which have been illegal under Common Law since the Middle Ages.

          Examples are the recent enactment of sectarian aggravation of breach of the peace and anti-stalking legislation.

          “The approach of the Scottish Parliament often seems to be to legislate in accordance with the agenda of tabloid newspapers,” he said.

          “This, instead of creating laws for public benefit.”

          Holyrood ‘has harmed’ Scots law

          • It is all about “convictions” though, innit. They just want to see some poor sod being given their bird and sent down. That’s why the laws are written wide and broad to make arrest as easy as possible, and the definition of what constitutes an “offence” is bended into absurdity.

          • Alex "Fat Fascist" Haddock

            Well, that would be a very serious “offence” under Scottish Criminal Law, Bob. Expect to be sent down for five (5) years. Or Life Imprisonment if the Judge was in a bad mood.

          • Witness the trashy red-top rag, the Daily Rectum which yesterday tried to conflate a story about a woman who claimed to have been raped 35 times with a sidebar about how “rapists were walking free on not proven verdicts”. It is like saying someone got off on “technicality” – they were found not guilty! Utter tabloid tripe journalism of the lowest order!

          • Francis Gallacher

            THE BARRENNESS OF HOME

            Scotland is a miserable sodden third-rate
            sexually repressed backward shit hole of
            a country where everyone has to pretend to
            appreciate
            every minute of their sterile defeated life

            — Francis Gallacher

          • Goldy the Golsfish

            Get your fishes sorted out there are no haddocks in the scottish parliament; alex is a salmond, nicola is a sturgeon.

          • You know why it is called the Daily Rectum, Aggy? Because it is is full of SHITE! :-)

          • Francis;
            Did Francis Gallacher work for the tourist board? (They don’t dwell much on these aspects of Scotland when we see Edinburgh/Highlands and Islands on tv. ads/holiday brochures). Just wondering how long ago this description was written. It’s such a lovely quote and parts of it could even be ‘borrowed’ by the English Tourist Board to describe places further south of the border.

  18. So Michael Banks what is the difference between intentionally and unintentionally homeless at the moment in Scotland?

  19. probably the same as it is everywhere else, whatever local authorities think they can get away with to avoid having to house someone

    cheers michael btw, i did read something about this, seem to remember there were concerns that the benefit cuts would make it difficult to achieve now

  20. It’s amazing how benefit cuts can be used as an excuse for a multitude of diktats from local and national government, especially when there should never have been benefit cuts in the first place. So those who have ended up in prison have made themselves intentionally homeless, anyone who ends up sanctioned by the benefits regime in theory has made themselves intentionally homeless, if you have upset your neighbours cat or dog especially if that neighbour owns their own home you are considered anti-social so could possible be ripe for eviction and the label made yourself intentionally homeless. You have been evicted for debt so have made yourself intentionally homeless. JUST WHAT CONSTITUTES A GENUINE HOUSING APPLICATION – BEING RELATED TO LOCAL GOVT. WORKERS? They will be rolling out the cheap labour jobs building more housing stock once they have created a great enough need – then perhaps these sadists just like to see people on the streets.

    • Ok we are talking about homelessness ok?
      Ok Johnny Void and chums, wrap your head around this conundrum:

      The Universal Credit., whats some of the concerns? Well ok its been suggested that ppl with drink and drug problems might run into problems with that money lying around and forget to pay the rent.
      Now then when asked for their idea of what homeless ppl were about, what do you think mr and mrs person in the street said?
      Yup homeless ppl are drunks and drug addicts.,
      Damned if you do…etc etc.

    • Actually someone pointed out something a lot more of a concern regarding the univesal credit money not going to landlords..
      Apart from the drink/ drugs thing. And that is debt..
      Ie devt accrued by loans from
      Loan sharks like wonga..
      Pay off wonga, lose home..

  21. Sorry mate, you’re not a priority.

  22. Housing officers can now be put in the category of job centre decision makers.

  23. Well done MSPs a step in the right direction and some welcome positive news if you happen to live in Scotland.

  24. Before I leave this debate I would just like to say stop judging people on the deserving and undeserving poor, even those who are classed as making themselves intentionally homeless still deserve a home.

    • Hows this in daily heil this year.

      An activist from right to work was protestng against workfare.,

      The mail did a hatchet on him. Ok so he is saying he wants to work, we clear?

      Right then up comes tory mp priti patel and suggests the old bill should nick this troublemaker lefty layabout, yeah the guy from right to work whose only problem is he has this mad idea about being paid for that labour, ok so ms priti patel says its a disgrace and another tory is furious that these shops mr right to work is complaining about are ‘gutless or spineless’ for not standing up to mr right to work and carrying on their lawful business of not paying wages.

      Ha, heres the stuff omitted by the maily dail, ms priti patel and other psycho paths are authors of a book where they tell us that, “all british workers are lazy and bone idle”

      How fucking nice of them.

      So in this back to front tory world of skivers strivers and greedy arrogant ponces , who knows..,

  25. Johhny, you point about the impending benefit cap is spot on in terms of how this nominally progressive piece of legislation will work in practice. Scotland isn’t London but it has 2 cities – Edinburgh and Aberdeen – with some of the most expensive average private rents in the UK. And then there’s Glasgow: relatively speaking, rents are not exorbitant but it is has the unfortunate distinction of having the worst incidences of multiple social deprivation in Western Europe. Taken together, our main urban areas will be affected by the benefit cap and its resulting homelessness, so the quesiton arises: how are local authorites expected to meet their new legislative requirement? Are we blessed with an abundance of suitable, affordable vacant properties? No. Are we building affordable new homes at anything like the rate needed? No. Are the Scottish Government proposing rent caps in the private sector? No.
    So in theory, yeah, great we can shout out about how ‘progressive’ we are. But for the poor bastards on the receiving end, they may find out the hard way that not much has changed.
    Guy Fawkes, under the 1987 Housing Act Scotlad you are deemed intentionaly homeless if “you deliberately did or didn’t do something that caused you to leave accommodation which you could otherwise have stayed in, and which would have been reasonable for you to stay in.”
    Nice and vague, just to back up Johhny’s other point that in reality the local authorities have plenty of scope to do whatever they want!

  26. Maybe we should all go and squat in the Job Centre?

  27. Again an insightful and ‘real’ look into how precarious life is for people in our society today. Really freaky how people unaffected talk about ‘the homeless’ as if they are somehow not human, another species…. beggars belief.

    Having faced homelessness I am acutely aware that we are all only a pay day away from the situation, and you are so correct when you say how this will increase with a vengeance in the next year…

    • @dawn
      As i posted earlier, one of the many concernes with universal credit was the worry that drug or drink dependant recipients might lapse on their rent which might end up with them being evicted.
      And yet in a survey ppl were asked how they viewed homeless, the answer was ‘drunks or drug addicts’

  28. In Scotland the welfare reform reality could be mass rent defaults and forced evictions, the demand of the Scottish government must be to desist from enforcing the eviction orders.

  29. Anomie

    The same applies to England where such evictions should also not be enforced.

    • The message to Council and Housing Association tenants must be one of “stand your ground” against the engineered evictions of welfare reform.

      No way will I surrender my family to homelessness without a fight.

  30. How so correct you are too Dawn Wilis for stating the obvious and Vengeance is the catchword here, vengeance by the Tories and Lib dems who are penalizing those who probably did not vote for them in the first place.

  31. @bob- you haven’t got a hope in hell as a single male- lowest priority, unless you have a serious medical condition, and my local council will not accept doctor’s letters as evidence of that if you submit one- they have to contact the doc. I was stuck for five years in a hostel, and it was HELL…

    Anyway the ‘Good’ news is, is that the online Universal Jobmatch means all those Jobcentre Nazis will be out of a job soon enough- the upside of the march of the machines- the downside is that my job is being automated too, so by this time next year I may well be out on my arse with the other two/three million people chasing 500,000 jobs…

  32. something survived...

    When I was homeless each time the council did nothing to help. I went on the general waiting list for council housing in 1994. Still on it. Each time I was made homeless I was in the category of local connection, not intentially homeless, vulnerable, disabled. AND not on drink/drugs! But nothing was done to help, no accommodation or anything else.

    Years ago I was in the council housing benefit queue. This couple with a baby came in. Because the same council had been too slow in paying their housing benefit on time, they’d just been evicted. So they were on the street. The council had the duty to house them but was ignoring that.
    So, the staff were really blase about it and the only thing they said was they wanted to take the baby into care because the adults ‘made the baby homeless’ and were not in charge of its welfare! Ironically the couple said they were asking for help because they wanted the baby not to be homeless?!

    Loads of women on the street have babies. A baby does not equal a house. If anyone in the authorities notices, usually they take the baby away. Then they doubly label her and stigmatise her: ‘lost custody of her child’ (yeah, coz you fuckers stole it). As well as being cold and dangerous, life on the street is no good for a baby; a sick, cold, tired and stressed mum can lose the ability to produce milk, particularly if starving/malnourished. She’d then have to try formula but how do you boil water or sterilise things if on the street, or if squatting a cold empty house without water/power? And what about nappies?

    When a woman on the streets is single: Often a man comes along and says he will help. And 9 times out of 10, he will do exactly the opposite.
    (What part of ‘help’ has to involve his penis?)

    Men on the streets don’t have it easy either. You are less likely to get raped but more likely to get beaten up. People like to piss or spit on tramps, throw rocks/bricks at them, puke on them, sometimes shit on them.
    There are things now about beating up tramps ‘for a laugh’ (or forcing them to fight eachother; or stripping them and stealing their clothes; or forcing them to drink lots of alcohol or cleaning products) – and now also filming it and putting it on their phones and the internet.
    Some people like to go up to tramps and just kick them and stamp on them.
    And some people set fire to tramps. Quite a few homeless people get murdered, probably an underestimate as bodies don’t get found/nobody cares/nobody knew they were missing/body found but people lied to call it natural, accidental or suicide. Throwing tramps in the river, off a building or under a train or car is ‘popular’. Some homeless people die from being crushed in car crushers or waste compactors, in skips etc. Or being in a skip someone sets fire to. Or being asleep and a vehicle reverses over them. A cause of death I’ve just thought of, but not seen reported here, is the ‘walk, talk and die’ outcome you can get sometimes when you suddenly get hold of lots of food after longterm starvation. When the Allies liberated the Nazi camps in 1945, at first they tried to feed the people normally. But some had been starved for 4 or more years. Their bodies couldn’t cope with sudden large amounts of rich nutritious food. With a lot of the people, they died as a result (when the Allies worked it out, they changed the ways of rehydrating and feeding people). [Even if you have gone without food only a few days, you can get sick from eating too much food at once on your first meal.]
    If a tramp starves or freezes to death in UK 2012/13, is that actually murder by the government?

    You can be street homeless and still signing on. And have to go to Work Programme and/or Workfare. Probably you’d be so sick the Atos test would have to put you in the support group, but there is no Atos test for this group of people. So you could be sent on a tough physical workfare with no money while ill and starving, going back to the street each night to sleep. Does anyone deserve this?:

    Well, the people who thought it up.

    • The same thing happens to a lot of tramps that happens to cats; they are hanged from trees, then the body is thrown in the river!

    • My experience of council housing officers is that they are total cnuts- corrupt as fuck or on another planet, called ‘I’m alright Jack’. I know of a guy who’d had a suicidal breakdown and went to the local housing action office with his psych-carer, only to be faced with an evangelist christian who lectured him on the benefits of believing in the Baby Jebus- utterly bizarre, insulting and utterly irrelevent to the guys housing needs…

      • @incubusblog i am on housing register in another part of london..i dont have many points..and my issue is trying to establish a connection with that borough, which is not easy..i have tried lots of ways..friends and even a major charity there of which i am trying to establish some voluntary help i am offering them..but i dont know if it cuts any thing with them..
        i cant stay where i am as there are a lot of homeles projects closing down
        so all help advice will really help..

        • You do realise that by a ‘connection’ they mean family, health or work- if you have none of these you’re scuppered,( except that if you do manage to get housed in your current borough you could do a tenancy swap with someone where you want to be- playing the long game) apart from that you’ll have to fabricate a *genuine* need to be in that part of the city- mental health treatment, a partner or someone you need to be close to geographically- Friends would only be of value if you were psychologically vulnerable, and for that, you’d need a diagnosis… but beware, if you feign mental illness (which is a wholly immoral, inadvisable thing to do) you run the risk of entering the system, and once they have you, it can be very difficult to get out of (‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ is more real than people realise). Apart from that you could invent a reason as to why you cannot stay where you are and to go to the borough you want to be in and declare yourself homeless there- by perhaps being at risk of physical threat- but this again would probably require some sort of proof. Beyond that mate, I dunno…

          • @incubousblog..ok i am in place connected to homeless hostel., it houses mentally ill people, not good, it affecting my health badly really,
            right i have a few friends in the other part where i am on the housing register there
            also i have offered voluntary assistnce to MIND there and from feedback they seem keen for my help..but im not sure whether the council there are connected to MIND probbly not, but im trying to get as many brownie points as i can
            so far the communications dept quite like the photos of that area that i have done..so i am trying…i have medical forms they have sent me..
            i am not sure about doing the local to swap to the other place as from what i hear the local stuff has been shutting down and cutting the lists too,
            not only that i dont want to get stuck locally asn there is frick all locally that keeps me here. the area is the pits really it is..so yeah health matters come into it big time..

            my only concern at the moment is any local well to dos where i am on the list.doing that ”we dont want scruffy oiks in ouir back yard” .from what ive sen with regard to a local development out there..it looks a bit like that as already i got the thumbs down and stuff about the need for affordable social housing,,,

            so…
            i dont know what but i am trying….
            any more ideas?

            • Well, sorry, but doing vol.work in the borough will mean nothing to any housing officer- all that proves is that you are capable of work, if on the other hand you got some therapy/support through MIND, then that may help- though there support usually lasts less than a year…Knowing ppl in the area will mean nothing either. You need medical criteria first and foremost, stress, depression, meds, counselling/treatment. Beyond that, you’ve not a chance mate, sorry- unless of-course your housing does actually drive you round the twist in reality. Sorry to be so brutally honest, but that’s they way the bastards have made the system now.

              • @incubusblog going back a bit..on their website under housing it clearly stated .that in order to move there you had to prove where you live was making you ill..which fitted exactly..now thenthe bit that threw me was that bit as i was told to get gp letter which wouldhelp..but now on the housing letter is says dont do that, unless i get there own doctors to assess me..
                health certainly comes into the matter, its catch 22 if i wasnt made ill by the place i am in then i could work there…

  33. Something survived you always portray the subject matter with such eloquence and knowledge for what I would call a nipper, it’s as if you’ve lived a thousand lives and I’m always moved and in agreement with your posts.

    • BROKEN BRITAIN UNDER TORIES
      At present the Government are debating whether there should be more stringent control over banks ,in a Parliamentary committee today Osborne stated they would look at it next year ,basically dismissing the issue .Why has his attitude to Welfare Reform not had the same response .This Government are at loggerheads with Doctors ,nurses,teachers and anyone working in the public sector especially the police .Our efforts against the draconian cuts are falling on deaf ears ,the police have an Epetition giving them the right to strike ,at present it has 16,778 signatures ,if we give this petition our backing it will make the Government take notice ,they are the only protection between them and us .The Police issue will have a bigger voice then we do on the reforms that are going through no matter what .This Government are using illegal underhand methods to push Welfare Reforms through ,by signing this petition we are backing the next biggest voice to the Government in this country legally. epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/31250 http://www.brokenbritainundertories.com

    • @something survied re hostels , been there dunnit still stuck..its not funny its horrible…the people who dont belong anywhere, the unwanted..

  34. I wonder which right wing organisation brokenbritainundertories.com belongs to?

  35. I certainly do no want to be trolling tory or right wing websites.

  36. DEAR ALL, Ive been having problems with wordpress blogs,,,for days/weeks now ive been getting ‘gateway timeout’ almost everytime i went to post on them.

    another blogger friend got hit with viral attacks..that and warning and being told to remove stuff..

    now aftter a lot of timeouts..my iphone packed in, wont power up at all.
    too damn odd

    on another matter and on another wordpress blog..
    an issue to do with development of a railway station has been raging
    the deal was that a railway station needed a refurb,
    fine, but it got changed to a railway station + luxury apartments which wasn really needed at all,
    local objection kicked in..and went to judicial inquiry.
    now that inquiry has awarded in favour of the poxy +luxury flats deal
    why?
    here is the thing…now from strange quarters,,blame is being heaped on the local objectors…

    anyone see something odd here?
    “the objectors caused delay of the project..”
    been seeing that…
    what price local democracy?

    something stinks here and that ‘hoax call’ stuff too..

  37. i tell you what is obscene and that is the worry of homeless on the increase and these poxy luxury apartments springing up all over the place..most of them look empty or hardly anyone living in them..its all speculators and tax avoiding investors and god knows what else..

  38. here is an example of this ‘local objectors caused delays.’
    a letter in falmouth..
    ” SO, taxpayers are to foot the bill of development by Budock Church. Whilst it is not for me, as a non-resident of Falmouth, it is as a taxpayer I find grounds for bona fide complaint.

    Why should I and all other taxpayers have to bear the cost involved in this dispute ie the objections of a vociferous minority of Falmouth residents albeit “nimbies”?

    There are far too many cases here in Cornwall of objectors causing unnecessary delays to projects, etc and in turn costing councils and the rest of us needles pecuniary costs/charges as a direct result of their invariably “nimby” objections that have no relevance to democracy – that involves everyone, as opposed to these small factions. Indeed, if justice was invoked (as should be the case) these known objectors would be liable for the costs and all of them surcharged accordingly on their next council tax bills”

    on and on i keep seeing this crap…
    .

  39. “While it is right and proper that people should have the opportunity to object to developments, this has now gone on long enough.”

    “The objectors have not only had their day in court but also a second bite of the cherry at the Court of Session, where their case was comprehensively dismissed.

    “The people of the North-east want this road to go ahead as quickly as possible, as does the Scottish Government. It is clear that the only thing delaying progress now is the actions of a selfish minority who refuse to accept not only the will of the courts but the will of the people.”

    Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “It is hugely disappointing to find that a small number of objectors opposed to the AWPR have again disregarded the wishes of the vast majority of people in the north east of Scotland and caused further delay to this vital project.

    “The Scottish Government has an iron will to proceed with the AWPR as soon as the legal process is concluded. There has now been a parliamentary process, a public local inquiry and two clear and comprehensive court verdicts giving the green light to the road.“This further delay will simply cost the people of Scotland money and subject the people of the Aberdeen area to congestion.

    so its joe bloggs vs property developers or developers ,, construction bods..

    so, local people can just fuck off or..they are a bloody nuisance…
    and just ‘in the way’

  40. local affordable social housing can just go away,,,but massive pointless developments can go ahead, and anyone who objects is a bloody nuisance..
    causing ‘unnecessary delays’…

  41. just like to add, this ‘will of the people’ thats quoted …er these ‘people’ who are they?
    the way things are going i fear this ‘will of the people’ may become the last will and testament..

  42. anyone want to follow this? is this a case of ” we dont want scruffy benefit scroungers in our back yard?” but we do want a posh flats only?

    http://twickerati.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/twickenham-station-judicial-review-lawful/comment-page-1/#comment-4515

  43. Simmo2012

    I took a look at brokenbirtainunderthetories.com and couldn’t help agreeing with most of what has been said, so perhaps I was a bit hasty to condemn outright, although I still feel Ukip is prevalent in there.

    • @guy fawkes i still exist..my phone has packed in not long after i was trying to contact a newspaper on a serious matter,,they were gonna call m back, now they cant,,weird eh?
      on top of that im running into..”we dont want your sort in our back yard’ brigade..
      and thats bugging me a bit as i am trying to move there,yeah it seems odd but the area aint all like that i know a few out there are pretty decent..its just some arseholes who dont believe in affordable social housing..

      no doubt Daily Heil readers..

  44. maybe if you take a gander at the link about the railway station twickerati thngy you mught see what i mean

  45. As a former housing support manager, i would check the legality of being evicted for service charges arrears. this ground can only be used if it is part of the rent which should be covered by HB also no one can be evicted legally without a court order eg NOSP and eviction warrant.

    • @madge brown my housing association charges us ‘service charges’ amd ‘supplementary service’ charges we write to them but they never explain or tell us what those charges are for..
      we keep asking but they never tell us..
      maybe its service charges for a laundry room that was declared dangerous..for six months as water from the washing machines leaked into the floor boars and a staff member was off sick because he damged his back tripping over rotten floorboards.

  46. The charge is usually for your “Mentor”, bob, you know that waged wanker who does fuck all to assist you finding a doctors surgery, NHS dentistry, optician, work and housing.
    Hmmmmm, now lemme think, wasn’t the fucking extortionate housing benefit supposed to cover the provision of that bone idle cunt?
    The £27 p/w was to cover breakfast, main meal, electricity heat laundry and hot water.
    The biggest gripe in the institution was, if the council could have only provided the £90 or so per week to cover the rents of our rented NeoRachman housing we lost, they wouldn’t be coughing nigh on £300 p/w to the 52 homeless men Stonham held in near open prison conditions… £300 x 52, + £27 x 52, nice work if you can get it

  47. Pingback: Number of homeless families in B&Bs on the rise | Atos Victims Group News

  48. moved into a all GIRLS hostel called townsend house when i was 15, experienced girls coming in health one week and the next week they were smoking crack and selling them selves, the fully grown men that used to come down to take advantage of these young girls, called the place that was meant to be my home townsend hoe house, the things i ave seen the things i called tell u make me sick to this day, i thank my lucky stars that i stayed strong and didnt give in. i am now 24 years old and am still stuck i ave been technically ‘sofa surfing’ since 15 but they tell me i have no right to affordable housing. ummmmm something dont seem right. maybe i shd light up the pipe or get my self pregnant instead of trying to educate myself i wld have more right to be housed then!!!!!!!!

  49. Johnny, this story has personal resonance for me. I was car-homeless for a year after running away from my dad’s home. I managed to contact my mom again and lived on her sofa for a further 10 years. Whilst car-homeless my incapacity benefit was stopped, which meant no food, and no postal address to sign on with. For women and certain men in that situation, where a structured job is improbable, and benefit sanctions make life impossible, and hustling and drug dealing are too dangerous to do on a big scale – the only thing left is… Under those conditions the word ‘consent’ becomes meaningless, the choice is between starving and… And that’s often where the drug problems can come from to deal with having to do… That.

    I realise this is anecdotal, but with the housing benefit caps, and the new harsher sanctions, there will be so many thousands whose story will mirror mine. I wish there were some way to remove this government. At the start of the industrial revolution, when London population was just one million, it is estimated that there were over 180,000 adult and child prostituted people. I fear we may be heading down a similar road.

  50. Apparently, as well as those placed in hostels by councils, another group of probably de facto “hidden homeless”, are those paying for backpacker’s hostels, dosshouse or other kind of cheap accommodation directly with money on a rolling short-term basis – whether from benefits (JSA for an over 25 would be just about enough for some in Brum, but you’d have barely anything left to pay for food), savings, credit, begging, black/grey market cash-in-hand work or a mixture.

    A guy I was talking to definitely mentioned “lifers” in the backpackers’ hostels in central Birmingham, and I don’t think all were just backpackers or people who chose to be there (as opposed to not being able to afford to live anywhere else).

    Given what I’ve heard about the cheapest private “hotels” (dodgy, dilapidated dosshouses, often without cooking facilities) on Hagley Rd, Birmingham – – a bed in a dorm in a backpacker’s hostel with a kitchen actually sounds safer (as well as cheaper) even at the cost of privacy.

    One thing I’ve been trying to figure out is whether or not you can claim Housing Benefit for private hostel-style accommodation arranged yourself, as opposed to the eye-watteringly overcharged hostel accommodation councils use as emergency housing.

    I suspect the answer is no, which is ridiculous since – although not a long-term solution and not suitable to those who couldn’t follow private hostel rules I suppose – such a policy would remove more people from the streets, at lower cost than emergency housing, without council bureaucrats having to frantically phone rip-off landlords, and even – in many cases – provide the recipient with a shared kitchen (in which they can more cheaply feed themselves) and Internet access they can use to apply for work (which emergency housing doesn’t).

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