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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 January 2012

Clock turned back on housing

Alison Hill

The cumulative effect of unemployment, a shortage of affordable housing and the cuts to housing benefit is turning the clock backwards on housing.

The magazine Inside Housing has done a survey of London Boroughs, revealing that 15 boroughs have already put 6,322 households in bed and breakfasts and hostels in 2011/12, compared to 7,461 in the whole of the last financial year.

The borough housing departments admit that bed and breakfast accommodation is the "last resort" but the figures are growing.

If the housing benefit you can claim doesn't cover the rent on available flats, all you are left with is shared accommodation in a probably run-down bed and breakfast. And the majority of households given this type of emergency accommodation will have young children.

This is going back to the days of families living in one room, living on chips or trying to cook as best they can. And it's a further subsidy to private landlords.

Croydon council housed 300 households in bed and breakfast accommodation this year. In 2008 the figure was 61. They have been offered two blocks of flats by a developer who cannot sell them. One is in Walsall and one in Manchester. That may be the only option for homeless families in the Croydon area, and not an easy option if you have children at school and relatives and friends in the area.

It's time to take over those empty blocks and enforce fair rents for all, or the Tories will have us all sleeping under a hedge.

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In The Socialist 11 January 2012:


Pensions battle

We say: NO WAY! Strike to defend pensions

Pensions dispute: Everything is still to fight for

Workers need an electoral alternative that fights for them

Unison member: no pensions sell-out


Socialist Party Interview

Fighting the pensions battle: An interview with Mark Serwotka


Them and Us

Fat cat pay: empty words from Cameron

Clock turned back on housing

Them & Us


Youth fight for jobs

Reject slave labour for young unemployed


Socialist Party workplace news

1,200 jobs threatened by DVLA closures

We need more railway jobs

Cuts councillors dishonoured

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party features

Stephen Lawrence murder - the untold story

Heseltine continued Liverpool's decline


International socialist news and analysis

Nigeria shut down at start of indefinite general strike


Socialist Party women

Socialist Women: At the frontline of the resistance


Socialist Party news

Socialist Party 2011 fighting fund target smashed!

Raffle - Ken Loach at the BBC


Socialist Party reviews and comments

Film review :The Iron Lady in meltdown

Reader's comment: The right wing media and Diane Abbott


 

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