Housing Minister Encourages Landlords To Breach Discrimination Laws

no-dssThe invisible Housing Minister Kris Hopkins has said it is “perfectly legitimate” for landlords to refuse to rent to people on Housing Benefits despite serious doubts about the legality of this practice.

Hopkins was being interviewed by Panorama, who this week revealed that the number of people who have become homeless due to a private tenancy coming to an end has trebled over the last five years.  The investigation featured buy-to-let scum Fergus Wilson who earlier in the year announced he planned to evict all of his 200 Housing Benefit tenants due to concerns about rent arrears related to welfare reforms.  This is just fine according to skiving Housing Minister Hopkins who said:  “If they actually decide they don’t want to have somebody on housing benefit in the future, that’s a perfectly legitimate thing for them to do.”

The problem is that it almost certainly isn’t under the Equalities Act – not that anyone seems to care.  As the Legal Director of Human Rights group Liberty explains here, if it can be shown that disabled people are more likely to be on benefits than non-disabled people then the policy of ‘No DSS’ is almost certainly illegal.

For those on out of work benefits due to sickness or disability then this becomes easily proven.  It is hopefully only a matter of time before someone claiming Employment Support Allowance brings a case against a landlord for this form of economic and disablist discrimination.  The landlord’s defence is likely to point out that the government’s Housing Minister said this practice was just fine.  Hopkins was once called Parliament’s ‘nastiest slimiest MP’ by one of his former colleagues.  If this is the sort of shit he comes out with when he can actually be arsed to show up for work then the cunt should stay in bed.

HT – Landless Peasant

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68 responses to “Housing Minister Encourages Landlords To Breach Discrimination Laws

  1. The guillotines need sharpening!

  2. The Panorama interview with Hopkins…link, please.

  3. Rosemarie Harris

    There we have it we live in a two trier country ..If you have the money you can live anywhere but if you are on a low income you can live anywhere they will take you but not where you want to live. So much for being equal, inclusive etc.

  4. “Hopkins was once called Parliament’s ‘nastiest slimiest MP’ by one of his former colleagues.”

    BOY OH BOY!!!, that takes some doing considering ALL the competition….

  5. Bernadette H.

    You are so correct JV, Hopkins is a cunt.
    Let’s hope his ‘seat in parliament’ comes to an abrupt end.
    Talking about ‘seats in Parliament’ who do we have to represent our views?
    Who is willing to serve ‘our needs’ of on-going deprivation and social injustice? What MP/Minister will stand up for all of us who are downtrodden ?
    Keep up the good fight with a clear heart and the determination to bring this unelected Government to their knees. It will happen, we just have to BELEIVE!!!!

    • Landless Peasant

      Kris is a Kunt alright, and there’s also Philip Davies in nearby Shipley, who the hell votes for these clowns in those areas remains a mystery to me.

  6. “25th June 2014
    DORCHESTER: CAB reports a rise in people needing help”

    http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/news_view/32750/15/1/dorchester-cab-reports-a-rise-in-people

  7. As the Legal Director of Human Rights group Liberty explains here, if it can be shown that disabled people are more likely to be on benefits than non-disabled people then the policy of ‘No DSS’ is almost certainly illegal.

    COP OUT!

    F*ck the Equalities Act everyone needs a roof over their heads Liberty are obviously pitting one (disabled) against another (abled).

    ‘No DSS’ is wrong period, everyone needs somewhere they can call home.

    • Yes; while it’s good to attack disability discrimination, class discrimination should also be recognized. If Liberty wanted a legal basis for a blanket attack on ‘No DSS’, they could point to the right to a home under human rights law.

      • The weakness with human rights declarations is that, how ever well intended, there is no right to a home while it remains that rent can be charged. If a home has to be rented, and most people are effectively renting, (even those with mortgages are effectively renting from their lender who owns their home until that last payment is made) it is essentially a privilege to have a home, i.e. it can be taken away.

        The above doesn’t mean that I agree with that, as I personally think that a home should be a right, but how do we achieve that?

  8. meanwhile, again in southwark, we’ve had southwark (labour) council generously give planning permission to lend lease, global developer, to build a 100% private housing development (in spite of council’s own planning policy requiring at least 35% ‘affordable’ housing in all new developments in the area). lend lease said they could not build any affordable housing as it wouldn’t be viable. why wouldn’t it be viable? they’d have to build, wait for it, separate entrances and separate lifts for the ‘affordable’/social housing tenants. i think other developers around london have been claiming the same thing and, from what i remember, still getting away with it

  9. Another unhelpful trend I’ve noticed – and it probably applies in any town with an ex-polytechnic-now-tinpot-university – is the rise in the number of letting agencies renting only to students.

    The attraction from their point of view is obvious – cram them in, grab full rent of each, and if they’re troublemakers they won’t be there long anyway, roll out the next lot of cash cows.

    The amount of ‘let to students’ signs outside houses this summer is phenomenal – and each one denies a house to someone who actually lives here.

  10. Landless Peasant

    I notice the local Rag, the T&A, have now removed the public comment section from that particular story, wonder why?

  11. This is off topic but tells you how bad things are in the UK. Sad, but also uplifting in a way, that ordinary people want to help. A curse on the people who have brought this country to this state.

  12. Most Billy’s will be voting No.

  13. Villages are resided by rich commuters and only a few farmers.

    The towns and cities have far more people.

    All the left leaning blogs think protest and petitions will change the current political class. It will not.

    The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, is an umbrella organisation of trade unioninsts and campaigners, ex Labour and Green party members, that could bring together all the socialist parties in England, and save us from a Tory Lite Labour in a minority government, which means the Tories would still rule after 2015.

    See the banned TUSC video (now OK to see as long after May 22 elections) on my personal website:
    http://www.theswansnewparty.org.uk

    TUSC said the truth of the state pension:
    that is not some generous gift from government for them to withdraw at whim, but deferred wages from our youth.

    But I still await TUSC bringing back the state pension at 60 for women, that is £25,000 of food money lost for 6 years from 2013, beginning of loss. Half and more of women are within the working poor or early retired from public sector on low works pension on average around £2,800 per year (2013).

    • Landless Peasant

      “Villages are resided by rich commuters and only a few farmers.”

      Yeah in really rurally pretty picture-postcard type villages often so, but the bits of Keighley I’ve seen have been pretty depressing, though admittedly my experience is greatly scarred by the fact I was attending New Deal at the time(s). Working Class whites & asians, quite a poor place, no work, high unemployment, lots of drugs. Ilkley, on the other hand, has house prices like London, and is populated by University Profs. & College Letchers & the like, wealthy Middle Class types. That must be how Kris Hopcins got elected in the first place. But a nastier twat to have in Government he could not be. Makes me shudder.

      And, in any case, most of the Housing Benefit is claimed by those IN-WORK but on Low Income, so it is an attack on the whole Working Class.

  14. It is not surprising, is it? The banking crisis has resulted in the lowest interest rates and highest inflation in memory. This asset grab and transfer of wealth from the bottom end to the top was planned from day 1, and no party politician will upset the gravy train. Vote for more of the same. Vote any make up clad actor in a political party and consign yourself to a life of slavery.

  15. If someone wanted to throw 200 people out of their homes because they were black, Jewish or gay, he would probably get jailed for it, but it’s ok to pick on the disabled because of this government.

    • If someone wanted to throw 200 people out of their homes because they were black … he would probably get jailed for it

      I wouldn’t bet on that. You would hear cries of “they’re playing the race card!” Black people are covertly very discriminated against in housing.

  16. cosmicrainbowcolours

    …..My current house hunting experiences in terms of endeavoring to find suitable privately owned rental accommodation would tend to suggest that the owners of different Estate Agents are getting together at relevant times during each year to ensure that they are all working from the ‘same page’ in terms of their individual own Codes of Practice/Conduct, similarly the owners of Letting Agencies appear to be doing the same in terms of their own individual Codes of Practice/Conduct, not wishing to be openly seen as at odds with each other, where in the case of those Letting Agencies it is even more apparent, especially the family run ones, which are being managed by a husband and wife.

    Outwardly they give the impression that they are willing to consider both employed and unemployed equally and from the same standpoint/perspective, when in real terms they are extremely reluctant to let any of their advertised privately owned rental accommodation to anyone who is in receipt of State Benefits and/or Housing Benefits, so in that sense they keep moving the goal posts to achieve that objective.

    Those in receipt of State Benefits and/or Housing Benefits need to form action groups across the country and bring all of these issues out into the open, which in turn will not only help them, but also those attempting to find rental accommodation in the future.

  17. Reblogged this on SMILING CARCASS'S TWO-PENNETH and commented:
    The bastards were perfectly happy to have benefit claimants when they could inflate rents because the taxpayer would make up the shortfall. It’s time for massive council house building, repossession of all ex-council housing and starve the leeches of tenants.

    • The government should stop selling social housing under “right to buy” with immediate effect, what is the point selling properties and not building new. Anyone who has profited from this scheme should be compelled to give council/housing ass first refusal to buy back for social housing. The government could easily free up housing by offering a cash incentive to people to move rather than bullying them into homelessness.

  18. Hear, hear smiling carcass and make sure that those building are given decent wages!

  19. I’ve already been a victim. My landlord evicted me wanting to sell my home, after leaving I found the my old house advertised online, the rent £100 more than what I paid per month, the same estate agent and of course NO DHSS. I’m on esa due to having tourrete’s syndrome and mental health problems.

  20. cosmicrainbowcolours

    Catherine, there are no words to describe what you have had to unnecessarily go through and endure, where my heart goes out to you, but many appreciative thanks for sharing a bit of your own individual story with us, which also acts in turn as actual perfect proof of what I have been finding out too on this same subject, where we have not only the landlord, but even the estate agent acting sneakily/furtively behind closed doors like a ‘pair of thieves in the night’ with not a second thought to your own plight in consequence of their callous heartless attitude and actions, not only that but also further adding a horrendous burden to your own physical suffering in terms of your health. Why their need for secrecy I ask? Also yet another prime example of substantial financial gain/profit regardless of whoever they walk over in the process; where you were happy and secure within your home one minute and then thrown unexpectedly into total insecurity the next by being made homeless. Would that landlord and estate agent do the same to their most nearest and dearest? I think not…

  21. “European governments are aware that this will provoke massive social resistance. On the eve of the summit, and largely ignored by the media, the relevant European ministers adopted provisions for implementing a so-called “solidarity clause”, which regulates the Europe-wide deployment of military, police and other security forces in crises which have a “serious impact on people, the environment or property”. This includes control of protests and riots.”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/06/26/euro-j26.html

  22. we are not getting value for money, it is being siphoned off, sucked out of our local economy in profits and is therefore not staying in the local economy….little is coming in and much is going out…
    this has been going on for decades, driving wages/local productivity et al ever downwards…
    causing severe social deprivations, we are being forced to produce more with less and less income, and the gap between the rich and poor to widen… see work of the jimmy reid foundation…the common weal…

  23. “see work of the jimmy reid foundation…the common weal…”

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/07/16/scot-j16.html

    • annos
      having skimmed it i see that i have already considered its contents…personally i’m not interested in supporting multi-national companies, nor is robin mcalpine…its the old chestnut how do we sell our labour to provide our vitals of life, without depriving some one else of their vitals…its about adding value to goods locally in producing goods, rather than importing, retailing and selling goods locally…1, stay as we do things now, global economy, sucked dry local economy, our sphere of influence is limited, as democracy is evacuated from our grasps ..2, produce goods that we need locally basically buying the labour of others and selling our labour back in return, constantly increasing profits….as now, is happening just makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, therefore monetarist policy must include a tax model that favours wealth redistribution away from hording and accumulation, of last person left standing is the winner, wealth, and/or redistribution of income/assets…3 how do we replace the capitalist system, without land redistribution…4 we have to find an equitable means of trading, but also growing our own vitals of life, so we stop needing to buy those/our vitals of life, and profit them who control them…give me another solution? in a world of vultures and blackbirds, where the blackbirds have to buy their vitals of life from vultures, we will end up living in a world of vultures…there is no perfect instant model….but we all know in which direction the change must head…cast mind back to pre 1979 was that better for the british working classes or not, and at whose expense? but global poverty is increasing…so who are the benefactors of globalization? certainly NOT the global working classes! basically capitalism turns our energy into something that others can own in assets, so that we do not…

  24. cosmicrainbowcolours

    Annos, thanks for drawing that “solidarity clause” to the attention of those among us who might not be already aware of it.

    There is already in existence the following website “Tenants Tips” – http://www.tenantstips.com/ . This is the only website I have come across to date in relation to a website specifically addressing the numerous issues a notable number of tenants are having to face in their lives, but that does not mean to say that there are not similar websites as that one elsewhere on the internet. However, “Tenants Tips” website might prove to be a good starting point in relation to finding out further information as and when necessary, where they may have already in depth knowledge in relation to a number of housing issues facing tenants including the legal aspect of it all. Therefore, one could either join that group and/or open up a brand new online group specifically addressing the current ongoing rental housing problems many of us are now having to face.

    Another idea is to also prepare an online e-petition for everyone to both sign and circulate on the internet as far and as wide as possible, so that others can have the opportunity to sign it too:

    What are e-petitions?

    e-petitions are an easy, personal way for you to influence government and Parliament in the UK. You can create an e-petition about anything that the government is responsible for and if it gets at least 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the House of Commons: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/

    • cosmic
      the changes that need to happen re tenants rights can easily be enshrined in law…ie the landlord must prove that they OWN the majority of the equity in a property, before the property is let….a minimum of 18ths months notice to quit…the rights of tenants must be available to ALL not just to those with a loud enough voice…

      • cosmicrainbowcolours

        overburdenddonkey, I take on board what your are saying, but how can this be easily enshrined in law and/or in other words how can that said enshrinement come into being in real terms?

        • cosmic
          it won’t be easy as our natural rights to secure tenure of a decent home has been gradually eroded to facilitate this right wing and bogus austerity agenda, we find ourselves in….but somehow it has to be pushed to the top of the political agenda, that and our right to all vitals of life…

  25. Anti-Homeless Spikes? Heartless. Cementing Over Them? Ingenious.

    Londoners have made their feelings clear about a corporate “solution” to the problem of homelessness—and the company listened.

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/anti-homeless-spikes-heartless-cementing-over-them-ingenious

    Nice one.

  26. Ye will probably need an address in Scotland but get yer arses over here and we can make Scotland the best goddamn nation in the world.

    I was told today that as i finished work program before April 28th i will be put amongst normal signers on my next signing on day and indeed i was given a new time to sign on and i will not be doing this slave labour help to work shite. I asked what is happening to me and she said she has no idea what will happen. She said a massive shake up in the department is happening and she thinks Universal Credit will happen?

    I soldier on and I worry about what comes next but relieved to not have to undergo this 6 month regime. My adviser has been great with me to be fair and I worry i will get it harder in my next port of call.

  27. Slightly off topic but has anyone managed to get into Universal Gateway/Jobmatch today??!?! I’ve spent all f*cking morning trying it with no luck but all other sites are fine!

  28. cosmicrainbowcolours

    This is what is currently happening in Ireland on the housing front:

    Power and privilege: how the wealthy, church and global capitalism hold sway

    To glean an understanding of poverty, we have an obligation to analyse wealth

    ” In Dublin, entire families have to live in a hotel room and more and more people are forced to sleep on the street because they are too poor to be able to pay for accommodation. That is just how the system works. The same system.

    The 85 richest people on the planet own as much wealth as the poorest 3,500,000,000. That is what happens when the system works. ”

    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/power-and-privilege-how-the-wealthy-church-and-global-capitalism-hold-sway-1.1838379?utm_source=lunchtime-digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digests

    ————————————————————–

    Passing of Housing Bill yet another shameful betrayal by Labour as tens of thousands of housing applicants get thrown off housing list

    Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The Labour Party has stabbed their supporters in the back with this Housing Bill. Many of the Labour TD’s and councillors built their reputation and support around the issue of council housing and now, in one fell swoop they have abolished the housing lists and privatised social housing. Once again we see the Labour Party introduce Fine Gael policy in their legislation, they should be ashamed of themselves.”

    http://richardboydbarrett.ie/2014/06/26/passing-of-housing-bill-yet-another-shameful-betrayal-by-labour-as-tens-of-thousands-of-housing-applicants-get-thrown-off-housing-list/

  29. cosmicrainbowcolours

    overburdenddonkey, Many appreciative thanks for providing that “Inside Housing” website’s web link, as it is a great source of information!

    It would appear that there has not been any large scale local-authority house building since that moratorium on council-house construction that took place in the 1980′s. It is therefore no wonder that we have found ourselves in the position in which we are in now, where demand for council housing far exceeds actual supply of council housing, however I realize there are also other factors involved in all of this, so in that sense not just simply because of that said moratorium that had taken place in the 1980′s.

    Abstract: “Still, many local authorities continued to resist developing any schemes or, at best, merely paid lip service to the ideal of participation. However, throughout the 1980s, the political climate continued to change. A moratorium on council-house construction effectively marked the end of large-scale local-authority house building. Responsibility for social housing was shifted to other non-profit-making organizations such as housing associations. Increased tenant rights were protected as central-government legislation and finance often demanded greater levels of consultation. ”
    Source: http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/social-housing-and-tenant-participation

    • cosmic
      imo the objective of their housing policies was/is to buy sufficient vested interest voters to stay in and maintain their political power..the very 40% group of voters that all political parties currently try to woo…the labour party should learn from what is happening in scotland @ the moment and have the courage to rediscover socialism, but alas they have left it far too late to regain the trust of the electorate that will be required to invigorate mass grassroots inclusion debate….they will continue to dictate their insular right wing reactionary polices….they will carry on their indecisive dilly dallying…being led by the right wing agendas, rather than leading a socialist debate…

  30. “No DSS” is basically the modern version of “No dogs, no blacks, no Irish”.

    • Pepper punk – when the govt changed how HB was to be paid, not direct to the landlord but to the tenant, don’t you think they knew there would be mass dumping of HB tenants? So what was the real agenda behind this policy?

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