Shocking for families to be without secure truly #affordablehousing for years but both local & national policy makers have become immune to shock when citizens are without #housing and #food

5 October 2019
TAP is supporting TAGLoveLane a group of homeless families in temporary accommodation in the London Borough of Haringey. The borough has a large local example of a huge national problem. According to the House of Commons Library there are 83,700 families with 124,000 children in temporary accommodation in England, up 10% since 2010, 56,880 of the families or 68% are in London. There are nearly 3000 in Haringey. There is nothing to stop it getting higher and worse.
 
Below is a letter I have just sent to the Chair and members of the Haringey Council Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee who are undertaking an enguiry into the regeneration of High Road West which involves the demolition of a council housing estate and a private industrial estate..  

 

To Councillor Kahled Moyeed, 

Chair Haringey Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel

 

Dear Khaled, 

I am writing support TAGLoveLane and Peacock Estates after their deputations to the Haringey Housing and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel, the 12th September and ask that these comments are taken into account in any recommendations the Panel will make to the Cabinet arising from their concerns. 

I am sure the panel is as concerned as I am about the scale of homelessness among tenant families in the Borough. One homeless family is too many but we have nearly 3000 homeless families in temporary accommodation 10,000 on the housing list and many others who are not on the council's list because they have been deemed "intentionally" homeless and deleted from it. We also have two homeless hostels Broadwater Lodge and Whitehall Lodge in each of which there are about 50 families each family in a single room sometimes for over two years. 

The homeless families are at the mercy of landlords and council officials. Landlords sell their properties either because they are being repossessed by their mortgage company or they want to take the profit from a buy to let. In both cases the homeless family in temporary accommodation is moved on, in some cases several times over ten years. This disrupts their children's education as they are torn out of one community after another. Other families have been forced by threats of "intentional" homelessness into filthy accommodation. Insufficient concern is being given to the mental wellbeing of the homeless children as shown by this Doctor's opinion;

 

Dictors opinion.jpg

It is a shocking thing for families to be without a secure truly affordable home for years on end but both local but local and national policy makers seem to have become immune to shock when citizens are deprived by government policies which fail to meet the human needs of shelter or food. In the same way policy makers have lost any sense of shock at the abuse of power involved in threatening 50 successful small businesses with a compulsory purchase order. We have recently heard much about the sovereignty of Parliament. There is also a sovereignty of the people over which the council is riding rough shod. The principle is that the authority of a state and its government are created and sustained by the consent of its people, through their elected representatives. 

 

In the interests of current and future homeless families and individuals the making of housing policy has to come out of its present rut. I hope you will consider the following recommendations.

 

  • The council ought to make an estimate of the level of housing need in the borough including the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation, the number on the housing list, the number deemed intentionally homeless and the number of hidden homeless as defined by Crisis. 
  • All public land must be kept out of the market and truly affordable council homes built on it; the council is now allowed to borrow the money to build the homes. 
  • Long-term vacancy of properties is discouraged in Denmark. If an owner moves and does not wish to sell his property, he must rent it out - or at least try to sell it. If a property is empty for more than six weeks, the owner has to report to the local authority, which then seeks to provide tenants which the owner has to accept.
  • Persons who are not residents of Denmark and have not lived in the country for a total period of five years previously may only acquire title to real property after having obtained permission from the Ministry of Justice.
You might like to read the complete blog on Danish housing policy  

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