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From: The Socialist issue 957, 26 July 2017: Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!

Search site for keywords: Homelessness - Tories - Evictions - Housing - Tenants - Cuts - Homeless - Children - Benefits - Accommodation

Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

Homeless children, photo Eflon (Creative Commons)

Homeless children, photo Eflon (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Kieran Barlow, Grimsby and Scunthorpe Socialist Party

120,000 children are currently in temporary accommodation according to the Local Government Association (LGA). And the number of families declared homeless has shot up by more a third since the Tories came into office in 2010.

Although not a new statistic, the LGA puts the 120,000 figure into perspective by stating that from 2014 this is equivalent to one secondary school full of children every month.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation charity recently published research that found 40,000 tenants were evicted from their homes in 2015 alone, with private landlords carrying out more evictions than councils and housing associations.

Due to cuts in housing benefits, private landlords are also reluctant to let to tenants claiming benefits.

One of the fastest growing reasons why families become homeless is the loss of an assured shorthold tenancy in the private rented sector. The LGA also points out that there has been a 40% reduction since 2009 in homelessness prevention by local authorities too.

Tenants are feeling forced to stay living in poor and sometimes unsafe conditions because they can't afford anything else. Many fear their landlords may use a 'section 21 notice' to evict them before the end of the fixed term for 'complaining' - with some claiming that their landlords just turned up and changed the locks while they were out.

The Socialist Party fights for housing demands including: rent controls and rent reductions; ending benefit caps and cuts; a mass building programme of publicly owned housing; an end social housing privatisation.

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