The 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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