Homeless families are to be moved out of London into cheaper areas.(32 Posts)
'Working families, ex-servicemen and people who volunteer will get priority in council housing lists over those who are homeless or destitute under new Whitehall plans.
Vulnerable homeless families will be rehoused in the private rented sector, often many miles from where they live, to free up social homes for so-called "priority" households, according to a government document presented to councils this week and seen by the Guardian.
The government is privately urging councils to adopt housing allocation policies that favour "deserving" families, alongside draconian powers that in effect remove the long-established obligation on councils to provide a social-rented property to homeless families.
The move, which comes as local authorities anticipate a huge wave of families presenting as homeless as a result of welfare reforms, is likely to accelerate the process by which poorer families in the private rented sector who are made homeless are shifted from expensive areas such as London to cheaper areas of the UK.
'Ministers, and local authorities adopting the policy, are likely to portray the change as one that frees up social housing for poor working families who can no longer afford to get on the property ladder, and more controversially, as a way to stop people trying to jump to the top of the council housing list by declaring themselves as homeless.
But critics have condemned the move as taking essential welfare resources away from the most needy and vulnerable and returning Britain to a pre-Cathy Come Home model of social housing provision in which local officials decide which families deserve to be given affordable homes.
Ministers have publicly condemned councils for rehousing vulnerable families miles away from where they were settled. But privately officials accept that benefit caps and soaring rents, coupled with the new homelessness guidance, will give councils in high-cost housing areas little option but to relocate households out of their home borough.'
When I first read this I felt appalled at the effect it would have on homeless families. I thought what it sounds like is social engineering or even social cleansing. Also, removing the obligation of the council to house people really does put them at the mercy of unscrupulous private landlords. And why should people have to move from an area where they might have family and friends, schools, etc?
But although everything in me is revolted at the idea of uprooting families like this, could it actually be better for them in the long run? If, for example, they are moved from an inner city area with all the associated problems to a place where they could have a higher quality of life? Or am I clutching at straws?
And the idea of giving so much power to local officials really does worry me.
I really don't think it is about Social engineering, but I'm generally someone that likes to see the positive in things, so I could be wrong!
I think that under the last governement, a strong feeling of unfairness was created. It became a common opinion that those who don't work or who contribute the least to society are the ones who receive the most of societies resources. Personally, I think there is some truth in that. It is great for people who need the most to receive the most, but only as long as everyone else isn't ignored. Especially those who work hard to contribute to society.
Policies like this are, in my opinion, helpful to readdress the balance. It needs to be done, because if it isn't, we will end up with even more people feeling disenfranchised and unwilling to contribute to society as they will feel they never get anything back in return.
alemci Children with parents in the forces can get funded boarding school places. This is because it has long been recognised that frequent moves can have a severely detrimental effect on a childs academic attainment.
falls off chair, help me up Freddo
This is about social engineering. It is about ensuring that one community is sustainable when evaluated through economic measure whilst creating a different "type" of community elsewhere. The costs to society and the country will be huge.
I am quite happy to agree that there is a small minority of feckless individuals, the sludge at the bottom of the jar who for various reasons will likely not contribute positively where ever they go. Positive change happens slowly whilst negative outcomes can happen over night. Many of these people need support and they also need role models. If we ship them off to a ghetto north of Watford where they will no doubt be surrounded by people ONLY like themselves, how do we propose to help these people.
Where is the money going to come from for community regeneration projects in these ghettoised areas. Who will dare enter them and attempt to work with some of these people when they are all clustered together. DOH....... there won't be any money, or work, just sanctions, Atos and eventually room in the prisons that this government is keen to build. Private prisons!
I remember just after the Brixton Riots, I went with my father to visit a job my father had been working on (new road laylout) he had to pick up some plans, I refused to get out of the car. I was terrified. I wasn't alone in feeling this way, there were areas where the police at that time, didn't patrol. My fathers site office was broken into regularly and in the day he had security. New roads benefit everyone but disenfranchised people do not always understand this and if you throw them all in together you will end up with Dantes Inferno. " "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"
Mini, I partly agree with you.
I don't think a plan like this will be breaking up communities if its aim is to help people that contribute to those communities.
If the people who a to be moved are contributing nothing, but the services they take will be available in the other areas, then I don't see the problem.
This isn't about ideals and what would be 'nice to have'. We have to accept that there is a limited amount of housing in certain places, and while we do need more housing to be built, that just can't happen in already overstretched, densely populated areas. There is a problem that requires more than one solution, and this plan is just one possible solution. It is not possible for councils to do the best for each and every individual when they have such limited resources, so they have to do what is best for the community as a whole. Keeping the people that contribute over the people who don't is what is best for the community as a whole.
Much like a school teacher who can't give the absolute best to thirty five year olds. Se can meet their needs and do the best for the whole class, but there will always be children that would benefit from extra, from one to one teaching or from extra resources. But the amount of help that can be given is limited. As long as everyone gets 'good enough', then I think that's all we can expect from the state.
It's madness. Yes, people have always moved to find work, so why the hell is the government forcing people out of places where there ARE likely to be jobs and dumping them in places where there aren't enough jobs to go round in the first place?
It will cost society, individuals, communities, the NHS and schools far more dealing with the results of all this disruption. People's health will get worse. Children will do worse at school. There is nothing good about this idea at all.
Yes it is very sad that people may be forced to move miles from family and community support, support that some of them increasingly rely upon as state welfare services are cut back.
Uprooting economically vulnerable people many of whom will have complex social needs as well as lacking qualifications, work experience or even just good health is social cleansing.
Community isn't a "nice little place" it is the interface between private and public where people live out their daily lives. Community is about place, belonging, feeling accepted, supported not about manicured lawns and how much profit a person creates for his employer.
This is absolutely not about prioritising community over individuals, this is about breaking up communities and dispossessing the poor of their right to a dignified existence.
often people have to move away from their families. It has been happening for years'. for example somewhere like Cornwall where the local kids cannot afford property and there is little employment so they may move to London.
I agree with Freddo.
What about kids with parents in the forces, they move schools.
It is sad that people will have to be moved away from families if they don't want to be. But sometimes it has to happen anyway for other reasons, and I don't think that having a home in your first choice location is something that people deserve to be given automatically.
Some areas just can't take any more people, especially in cities. So no matter how valid a persons reasons are for wanting to stay in a certain area, it can't always happen. When homes become available in a certain area, then it makes sense for people who make a contribution to that are to stay, and the ones who don't contribute to be moved somewhere else.
This isn't about who deserves housing the most. People who need housing will get it. It's about making the community a priority over an individual. If a community, as well as an individual would lose something valuable by someone being moved to a different area, then it makes sense to try to help them to stay.
It makes me shiver to think about vulnerable families with children or elderly people being moved miles away from their relatives and communities. Children being uprooted from schools.
On the other hand well-off families living in areas with high housing costs are going to be delighted as disadvantaged families are gradually moved out of the area, into areas with other poor families where housing costs are low.
This will do wonders for SATS scores in state schools in areas like Richmond and Kew.
I am not writing anyone off. But creating 'sinks' areas dominated by people who already face problems is not likely to lead to the new Bournville in 20 years time. Pollyanna politics isn't going to cut it here.
ghettos pfftt maybe if they tackled the huge amount of unemployment so people had jobs there would be less poverty and no need for ghettos to be created.
There are plenty of people that need social housing that function perfectly well in society that have those things, or have had to deal with those things.
You can't write people off as being able to create nothing but a ghetto because of disability, mental health problems, family breakdowns etc.
as Viva says this is simply going to create a whole new generation of sink estates and indeed towns.
I's there some reason I don't know about that would prevent them from creating a nice little community?'
Just minor issues like the ones that landed them in social housing int he first place: addiction, MH issues, disability, family breakdown and resulting stress, trauma due to abuse, long term unemployment leading to unemployability. Etc.
Why would it neccesarily create a ghetto?
Are these people automatically destined to make whatever area is given to them into a dump and start committing anti social crimes? Is there some reason I don't know about that would prevent them from creating a nice little community?
A lot of people already do live in areas where it is extremely difficult if not impossible to get a job. Nobody seems to care very much about them.
they won't get bloody jobs tho, will they?
Basically all poor people will be herded together into ghettos of hopeless poverty that they will never be able to escape from.
I think it does make sense to house homeless families in cheaper areas. Because sure that means more families can be helped.
VivaLeBeaver you beat me to it. "London overspill" has been going on for a long time, in various forms. I can name three places within 20 miles of here which were small towns and expanded because people were moved out to ease the pressure on London.
I can see a certain amount of logic in it, in that it is cheaper, but most of the towns where this has already been done have ended up with huge problems as a result.
It sounds to me like the basic principle is that councils will have the same responsibility to house people, but in areas that are the most popular, the limited number of homes should go to the people that contribute the most to that society.
Which seems like common sense.
It's happened before. The town where I went to school doubled in size in the 1960s as families were sent up on the train to accommodation here. A whole massive estate was built to house them. It caused no end of problems in the town, suddenly 50% of the population were unemployed.
Which had a major knock on effect for the more established residents.
Major integration issues.
I lived there in the late 80s, early 90s and the town still had a reputation as been a shit hole, especially that estate. It's a bit better now but still has cheaper housing and higher unemployment than other towns in the county.
There has never been an obligation to provide social-rented property for homeless families. You end up in refuge miles away as it is.
Not many people are on benefits by choice. Don't believe all you see in the papers.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.