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Social 'cleansing'? What are the implications?

(383 Posts)
Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 16:34:49

Camden Council wants to move 750 poor families north to places like Bradford and Leicester. They say that because of the new benefit caps (which limit total welfare payments to £500 a week for families, no matter how many children they have or how much they have to pay for rent), some families are not going to be able to afford to live in London. So they're shunting them all up north.

I don't think this is a new idea, btw, but I still find it shocking.

When the govt were discussing these benefit cap plans, they must have worked out the implications for the families that would no longer be able to afford to live in their houses. And they will have realised that this would happen more in the poorer, Labour-run (?) councils. It's inspired, it's so clever. In one fell swoop they free up all the lovely expensive properties being wasted on poor families, and the Labour councils get the blame for it. It's absolute genius, don't you think?

So what sort of place will London be, when the heart is ripped out of it, and all the children go? Perhaps a tad melodramatic, but the Pied Piper springs to mind - not that I am blaming the Mayor and Corporation of Camden, particularly (don't know enough about it, tbh).

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 20:19:11

If I read this right, Camden might choose to buy up a load of houses in (say) Leicester and 'offer' these to their families to go and live in.

Suppose 750 families do this.

The cost of finding those additional school places alone could cost Leicester £5million. Not budgeted for.

The loss to the housing options stock for Leicester families would also be massive.

PuffPants Thu 14-Feb-13 20:20:16

Frustrated, I didn't say it was through choice.

My points are still valid. If, even through no fault or intention of your own, you find yourself relying on government assistance to get by in will be subject to decisions made on your behalf by others.

sydlexic Thu 14-Feb-13 20:23:08

I think if you are living and working in London and then through no fault of your own are made redundant you should have your rent paid if you demonstrate every effort to find another. I don't think you should move into high rent property you can't pay for.

I think the DCs you have should be supported but until you are back on your feet you should not plan more.

I want a welfare system that supports everyone when they fall on hard times not one that offers an easy life to those who want everything for nothing.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 20:26:30

so what IS your point then puffpants - does that mean that it is ok for the govt to make poor choices then? because that is what they are doing

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 20:29:40

actually that makes me really cross puffpants - just because people are poor it doesn't mean they shouldnt have a voice.

The problem is that there will always be people who will play the system and screw it for what they can get and are just plain lazy, but how do you differentiate between those and a family in trouble?

The answer is in controlling the housing market - professional people cannot afford to buy their homes. I was going to say get on the property ladder, but i think the "property ladder" is the problem!!

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 20:30:14

not cross with you though!! smile juust the general concept, i sort of understand where you are coming from

Floggingmolly Thu 14-Feb-13 20:32:45

frustratedworkingmum. Your point re. "people tend to live where they live because it's where they grew up, families live, etc". This is categorically not the case for everyone funding their own living requirements.
I couldn't even dream of living near either mine or DH's parents, simply couldn't afford it, and like I've already mentioned; nobody is offering to cover the shortfall. Why people feel the means to do so should come from the public purse as some sort of human right is very hmm

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 20:37:50

We are all suffering because of lack of rent control and the lack of control over the profits allowed to be made out of private sector housing.

Charmingbaker Thu 14-Feb-13 20:38:13

If you want to see the consequences of social cleansing then look at the 'schemes' in Scotland. Areas of entirely social housing with high unemployment, alcohol/drug dependency and low life expectancy.

Charmingbaker Thu 14-Feb-13 20:41:26

LineRunner- the landlords aren't suffering, they have made a fortune in a sector subsidised by housing benefit.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 20:41:35

I take your point flogging, but if you did live near your family it surely be wrong to be expected to move away? I really don't know what the answer is, because as i said in the second part of that post, i don't want to be providing folk with a shortfall either.

I live in the south east in an area which is now pretty affluent, it never used to be though - we were lucky that we bought our house before the prices went mental, but if we hadn't have done that, we would never have been able to buy here. So would have relied on social housing if we wanted to stay in the area. There is a lot of resentment here regarding "second homers" pushing up property prices so that local people can no longer afford to live here. THAT is the problem imo.

Like someone said upthread, people in camden still want their streets cleaned and their coffees served up to them etc. Those are hardly jobs that people can afford to commute to.

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 20:46:05

Charmingbaker, very true.

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:48:07

Charmingbaker - v true. The schemes are just to move the unsightly poor from the prosperous city centres. Don't want to frighten the tourists ...

LineRunner Thu 14-Feb-13 20:49:49

What kind of capital city ends up inhabited by the well off and serviced by immigrant workers and students in over-crowded housing?

I want to believe this won't happen because it's so mad.

beeroclock Thu 14-Feb-13 20:54:32

What I find hard is that communities are being ripped apart by these cuts, family support networks split up. Community has a massive impact on how well people can live along side each other, they are answerable to each other.

What the government is doing is shit and is ghettoising the poor.

Solopower1 Thu 14-Feb-13 20:55:00

It's like the Clearances in Scotland, when the people were put off the land that they had lived on and farmed for centuries - because it was more profitable for the land owners to use the land for sheep.

Change 'sheep' to 'rich people' and there you have it.

edam Thu 14-Feb-13 21:00:18

Flogging, when you say you 'couldn't afford' to live near your parents, are you talking rents or house prices? Presumably you aren't in social housing, therefore you either own your own home or you are fortunate enough to have the deposit needed in order to be able to choose which rented property you prefer in the private market. That means you have a choice. You get to choose where you live within your means. That choice is being denied a hell of a lot of people, particularly the working poor.

Not only that, but this stupid policy will cost the taxpayer more. Councils are having to put homeless families up in B&Bs that cost far more than housing benefit on social rentals. Westminster is paying thousands of pounds a month - or even a week - to house families whose rent used to be a few hundred. This is a stupid policy that is worse for the victims, worse for taxpayers, worse for employers who need staff, worse for everyone except Cameron who thinks he'll get a few friendly DM headlines out of it and sod everyone who suffers the consequences.

I 'can't afford' a house like the one I grew up in, btw. But I am aware that I am far luckier than a hell of a lot of people'; dh and I were able to buy some years ago, so we have a home, which is a decent place to live, and commuter distance to London where there are jobs. (Not that commuting feels like a benefit given the mahoosive cost and major disruption that happens quite regularly - yesterday and today I've spent 9 hours standing in stations/on rail replacement bus services etc. etc. etc. but I'm aware that I'm still far better off than people who are out of work or forced to move to areas of high unemployment.)

freetoanyhome Thu 14-Feb-13 21:05:49

communities will be destroyed, including care networks. Mrs 4 children might care for her elderly mum. If she's moved to Leicester. Mum will have to go into a home at vast cost rather than Mrs 4kids doing it for free. There will be many examples like this as voluntary networks are destroyed. The hidden costs of these are never calculated on a spread sheet.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 14-Feb-13 21:14:56

that is exactly what i wanted to say freetoanyhome, but coudlnt think of how to say it. This government disgusts me

mercibucket Thu 14-Feb-13 21:17:28

why should one la get to offload onto other, poorer, la? the new area will have to pay for schools, healthcare, subsidise council tax etc. all to save the other la money.

actually, this reminds me if the old poor laws. i was just reading about a man whose 'wife' died, but it turned out they weren't married, so the equivelent of the la shipped the kids off to the various places they'd been born, so their village could pay for theirupbringing. they then sent them back and the poor kids went back and forth with noone wanting to pay for them. sad

WishIdbeenatigermum Fri 15-Feb-13 07:39:08

Charming- the landlords aren't suffering, they have made a fortune in a sector subsidised by housing benefit.
Hear hear.
The governemt has been overinvolved in the past. The pot is finite and the money has to be found somewhere.

cory Fri 15-Feb-13 08:44:59

It's not exactly joined up thinking, is it? Otoh they want to force people back into work, otoh they are going to move them away from the jobs.

Solopower1 Fri 15-Feb-13 08:56:41

It might not appear to us to be a very clever plan, Cory, but you can be sure that the govt and their advisers have thought through all the consequences. They will have decided that whatever happens to people's lives, it is a price worth paying.

What I don't understand is why it makes sense, from their point of view, to rip communities apart in this way. Is it a sort of 'divide and rule' strategy? They're very good at that sort of thing. Or do they actually think that societies work best when all the rich people are in one place and all the poor people in another? Or is it a public relations exercise, designed to prove to the people who vote for them (maybe poor people don't use their votes as much) that they are looking after the interests of middle- and high-income professionals?

I can't work it out.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 15-Feb-13 10:48:12

I think it just shows how entitled people have become. So the lady has four children, lives in an area she clearly cant afford and then moans when the government say they will no longer pay for her lifestyle choice!

The changes have been broadcast for many months, she has had plenty of time to gain work (or extr work if she does some already) or to look at areas she likes that she can afford herself.

Welfare was meant to provide shelter, warmth and food. If you truly need to rely on welfare then you would be grateful that they were being provided not demanding you live in a rich area etc.

telsa Fri 15-Feb-13 11:48:03

A rich area?! - it is just bloody Camden Town, or Gospel Oak or Kentish Town - it is not Mayfair. 30 years ago no-one much wanted to live here, in the Inner City Ring, but had to. It is all mad. And it might be coming to your area very soon.

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