If You Live In London....

Discussion in 'U.K.' started by Mr. Frankenstein, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

    ...you'd better make sure you're you're rich.

    Benefit Cap Means The Safety Net For London’s Poorest Children Has Disappeared

    It is not hyperbole to say that yesterday’s introduction of the benefit cap effectively ends the safety net of social security for families in London.

    Households in Enfield, Haringey, Croydon and Bromley from today will now face losing their homes should they become unemployed or too ill to work. This social cleansing is to be extended to all London Boroughs and elsewhere in the UK from July.

    It is true that the cap, set at £500 a week , is a lot of money. It is not true however that it meant equivalent families receive more on benefit then they would in work. A family earning £26,000 a year and living in the private sector in London would receive significant housing benefits. Those who objected to people living in high rent areas whilst on benefits were perfectly free to do the same, and would have had some help with housing costs even if they were in full time work.

    It is not the fault of claimants that rents have soared out of control in London, making often the most modest of properties unaffordable without some benefits. Even in the very cheapest outskirts of the capital rents are soaring. Most of the families struggling with rocketing private sector housing costs were born in London or have lived here for years. Some have seen neighbourhoods previously regarded as poor like Notting Hill, Dalston or Brixton turn into playgrounds for the latte slurping middle classes around them, sometimes in the space of just a few years. Others live in areas which were always poor, like Tottenham and Catford. With the benefit cap pegged at £500 a week and housing benefit now frozen far below the rate of rent increases, very soon even these areas will be unaffordable for medium sized families on benefits.

    The DWP went on the offensive yesterday in support of the cap, which is set to cost 40,000 people their homes over the next few months.

    Source- The Void

    Full article - http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/201...for-londons-poorest-children-has-disappeared/

    :bobby: I cant help thinking that 2013 is going to be a very exciting year for London.
  2. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

    Westminster Council Plot Homelessness Strategy Based On Enforcement

    Against a backdrop of soaring street homelessness, the London Borough of Westminster is planning a policy of enforcement to force those with nowhere to go but the streets out of the borough.

    The Tory run flagship council have published a consultation ‘Rough Sleeping Strategy’ in which they reveal the shocking fact that 1500 new rough sleepers arrived in Westminster in the financial year 2011/12.

    This number is only likely to rise as the cuts to housing benefits take effect and huge swathes of London become unaffordable for those on low incomes. Westminster Council’s answer to this is not to challenge the vicious cuts or to invest in more housing, but to send the message that “rough sleeping on the streets of Westminster is, quite simply, not an option”.

    It is unclear at this stage whether the council will attempt to resurrect plans to ban rough sleeping in the borough, along with soup runs which they claim encourage people to stay on the streets. Two years ago the council tried to do exactly this – with the shameful connivance of some homelessness charities - until a storm of protest forced them to back down. This wasn’t enough for the poverty pimps at Thamesreach and other large homelessness charities who are still lobbying against soup runs in central London.

    Those same charities will be interested to learn that Westminster are to replace their dogged loyalty by introducing the same kind of payment by results contracts that have caused such expensive chaos for the floundering Work Programme.

    It seems that Westminster’s approach is likely to be one of harassment rather than direct enforcement, with council busy-bodies, volunteers and police ganging up to drive homeless people from the borough. A recent raid on rough sleepers in Ilford, in which sleeping bags and food were seized by police, gives a chilling example of how this enforcement may look in practice.

    The raft of cuts to housing benefits could mean unprecedented homelessness in the UK. As London authorities know only too well, homeless people often flock to city centres for the scant resources that might be available. Whilst this strategy leaves as many questions as it does answers, it is clear that those who find themselves on the streets of central London are to face a desperate time at the hands of Westminster Council.

    Source - The void

    Full article - http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/201...t-homelessness-strategy-based-on-enforcement/
  3. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

    Welfare reform NOT reducing rents in London – report

    Government reforms to the welfare system are failing in their aim to reduce rents and could even be driving price hikes, according to a report by London Councils.

    Tracking Welfare Reform: The Impact of Housing Benefit Reform in London analyses the impact of changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA), the main housing benefit. It finds that:

    - the changes have not led to reduced rents. Some boroughs have seen rents rise by over 20 per cent over recent months – which pushes up rents for all tenants, not just those receiving housing support

    - working households accounted for 90 per cent of the growth in housing benefit in outer London, where the rise in those claiming benefits is highest. This shows that low-income working families are disproportionately hit by the changes compared with other groups. This has wider effects on other public services: for example, exacerbating demand for school places

    - more than two-thirds of the growth in housing benefit receipts are in the private rented sector – which, being more expensive, increases costs for the taxpayer and directs money to private landlords, rather than being reinvested in affordable social housing.

    Mayor Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils, said: “Councils want to support families, but the double whammy of the scale of welfare changes alongside cuts to council budgets makes this a massive challenge.”

    “The report shows that to avoid creating a chaotic system where the only beneficiaries are landlords and lettings agents, the government must ensure its reforms reflect London’s housing crisis.”

    Source - London Councils.go.uk
  4. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

    The obvious result of current policy ?

    Housing officials shot and injured trying to evict tenant in Brixtion

    Two housing officials were shot and injured today as they tried to evict a tenant from a flat in south London.

    The man and a woman were rushed to hospital where they are being treated. Their condition is believed to be serious but is not thought to be life threatening.

    Armed police raced to the scene after the shooting in Strathleven Road just before 10am.

    They forced their way into a flat in the street and arrested a man. He was unarmed but officers later found a gun at the address.

    The two officials were said to be in the process of trying to evict the man from the flat when he produced a handgun and fired at them.

    One report said the officials were chased down the street by the men as he fired at them. One of the pair was shot, witnesses said.

    Police said no shots were fired by firearms officers during the arrest.

    The two officials are believed to work for the Metropolitan housing association. A spokeswoman said the pair were being treated in hospital but their conditions were not-life threatening.

    There are thought to have been three officials, including a bailiff, who were sent to the flat to evict a tenant.

    One offical who works for the company said : “We know that bailiffs are unpopular but we do not expect our staff to be shot at. They are really shaken up.”

    A police helicopter was sent to the scene and hovered overhead during the armed operation to arrest the man.

    A Met Police spokesman said officers were called to Strathleven Road to reports of a shooting in the street at about 9.50am today.

    A local resident told the Brixton Blog: “The first we knew was when police arrived and ran past our front door. Then we saw them arrest a white guy in the middle of the road.”

    The street was closed while police forensics experts searched for evidence.

    He said : “An armed response unit was sent to the scene. London Ambulance Service were also called to the scene. One man and one woman were injured. They have been taken to a south London hospital.

    “Their conditions are unknown but they are not thought to be life threatening.

    “A short time later, armed officers forced entry to the suspect’s property in Strathleven Road and restrained a man. He was unarmed. A firearm has since been recovered from the address.

    “The man was arrested and has been taken to south London police station where he remains in custody.”

    Source - London evening Standard

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWXpjqc0uE8"]The Clash Guns of Brixton Lyrics - YouTube
  5. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

    I dont think this is connected with today's shootings, but it is in Brixton and may give some clue as to the pressures building up...

    Eviction Brixton

    We are 75 people living in six blocks of flats in central Brixton who are facing eviction from our homes on July 15th. We live in property that Lambeth Council has not maintained or looked after for the past thirty years.

    Lambeth council is pushing ahead with its plan to drive more of us out of Brixton, to develop private housing, only affordable for the ultra rich. Now we are being ripped out of our homes to make space for ‘corporate clients’ . Foxton’s will charge people upwards of £2000/week to stay in our flats and/or they will sell them for half a million pounds.

    Most of us have lived in the properties for many years, often decades. One person has been here 32 years. Some have families. Lambeth claim they will renovate three buildings as social housing and sell the others. This is a story we have heard before. We have watched them sell off, bit by bit, all properties from previous evictions on Rushcroft Road, Clifton Mansions and a large proportion of Brixton’s original short life housing. They will do the same to these flats. Central Brixton will be gentrified – and those who are already here (like us) be pushed out.

    We are a community of people in who all attend to priorities that capitalism neglects. We are part of this city and part of central Brixton. Many of us have landed where we are through years of service to our communities, commitments to fighting for justice and/or creative and artistic pursuits. We do the type of work that makes this kind of rent simply impossible. If Lambeth insists on running the people who have values stronger than the relentless pursuit of profit London, they will make this city into a sterile corporate hellhole, devoid of authenticity.

    We would like to stay and we are fighting for the right to stay. We have explored many avenues for making this possible. We have proposed a cooperative where we can self-manage our own housing in a building owned by the council. We can show Lambeth (the ‘cooperative council’) how cooperative organisation is possible. We have the skills and social capacities to organise cooperatively. This is more than Lambeth council can say! Lambeth Council advertises itself as the ‘cooperative council’ but it behaves as an authoritarian manner. We demand that Lambeth Council honours their commitment to cooperative organising and stops attempting to evict us from central Brixton.

    We are organising an anti-gentrification event on Saturday July 6th 2-5 pm on Windrush Square. We will be talking about evictions and gentrification in Brixton. There will be a quiz. There will be an art auction to raise money for the eviction fund. There will be a standing protest and finally there will be music. We invite all those with concern for the gentrification of Brixton to come and support us Saturday afternoon.

  6. Mr. Frankenstein

    Mr. Frankenstein Malice...in Sunderland

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