Archives for category: housing

The ‘drowned villages’ which were abandoned and flooded by an enormous reservoir will be seen for the first time in 75 years.

Derwent and Ashopton have been digitally rebuilt by students, and a cache of rarely seen photographs will be displayed only a few miles from where the villages once stood.

The villages, which are now under the 27.8 million cubic metres of water in Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire, will also be remembered by the few remaining former residents.

Their memories will form another part of the photographic exhibition.


Source: Abandoned ‘drowned villages’ digitally rebuilt 75 years after flooding


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has breached freedom of information laws by refusing to explain how its new universal credit system of working-age benefits will affect disabled people.

Campaigners have been warning that the introduction of universal credit will see tens or even hundreds of thousands of disabled people with high support needs lose out on thousands of pounds a year because the new system will scrap the disability premiums that exist in the current system.

Both severe (£62.45 per week) and enhanced disability premiums (£15.90 per week) are currently added to some means-tested disability benefits to help with the costs of disability.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been insisting since 2012 that “transitional protection” would ensure that no-one moving onto universal credit would see their benefits cut in cash terms.

But campaigners have remained sceptical, while also pointing out that the transitional protections will not apply if there are any changes in the disabled person’s personal circumstances – for example if they move to a new home, or their relationship status changes – and will not apply to new claimants.

And last month, a terminally-ill man, TP, won permission for a judicial review of the financial impact of the introduction of universal credit on disabled people with high support needs, through the loss of the two premiums.

According to his lawyers, the removal of the premiums has seen TP lose £178 each month after he moved back to London to receive treatment and had to claim universal credit (UC) for the first time.


Source: DWP ignores freedom of information laws in bid to hide universal credit impact | DisabledGo News and Blog

Where is the ‘Duty of Care’, pending Safeguarding issues and many other aspects, we now see the true values of this Tory Government and persons with disabilities are now no longer valued.

Same Difference

Life began at 40 for severely learning-disabled Colleen say her sisters, when she moved into her own home.

She is living happily in her Coventry house, 11 years after leaving unsuitable residential care, thanks to a carefully-crafted network of 24-hour care and a range of state benefits.

But due to the impending removal of the housing part of her support, known as Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), that security has been mired in uncertainty and anxiety.

Colleen is one of 124,000 households in England who receive this particular benefit.

It helps them repay the interest on their mortgages and nearly half the recipients are pensioners.

However, within weeks the benefit will be axed and a loan offered instead.

Those who have not signed up to the new government scheme face losing their mortgage support.

Though small, the current funding arrangement makes enough difference to enable Colleen to live on…

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Govt Newspeak

Exclusive: Families forced to spend nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations after being denied emergency housing by local councils

Vulnerable children are being forced into homelessness because local authorities are routinely flouting child protection laws, lawyers and charities have warned.

Families with young children have been denied emergency accommodation by their local council and subsequently forced out onto the streets, spending nights in A&E waiting rooms, night buses and police stations.

Under the laws set out in the Children’s Act, local authorities are legally obliged to provide accommodation for minors, to prevent vulnerable children ending up on the streets.

But London charity Project 17, which works to end destitution among migrant children, said councils were effectively ignoring the law and often complying only after legal action was taken. It claimed that, of the scores of families it had supported that had initially been denied housing in the past year across the capital, around 90 per…

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It’s a little after 3pm in Detroit’s 8 Mile neighbourhood, and the cicadas are buzzing loudly in the trees. Children weave down the pavements on bicycles, while a pickup basketball game gets under way in a nearby park. The sky is a deep blue with only a hint of an approaching thunderstorm – in other words, a muggy, typical summer Sunday in Michigan’s largest city.

“8 Mile”, as the locals call it, is far from the much-touted economic “renaissance” taking place in Detroit’s centre. Tax delinquency and debt are still major issues, as they are in most places in the city. Crime and blight exist side by side with carefully trimmed hedgerows and mowed lawns, a patchwork that changes from block to block. In many ways it resembles every other blighted neighbourhood in the city – but with one significant difference. Hidden behind the oak-lined streets is an insidious piece of history that most Detroiters, let alone Americans, don’t even know exists: a half mile-long, 5ft tall concrete barrier that locals simply call “the wall”.

“Growing up, we didn’t know what that wall was for,” says Teresa Moon, president of the 8 Mile Community Organization. “It used to be a rite of passage to walk on top of the wall, like a balancing beam. You know, just kids having fun, that kind of thing. It was only later when I found out what it was for, and when I realised the audacity that they had to build it.”


Source: Roads to nowhere: how infrastructure built on American inequality : The Guardian

“People who have nowhere to sleep or are about to lose their homes are being turned away illegally by councils, BBC Scotland can reveal.

Local authorities have a legal obligation to find accommodation for people facing homelessness.

Government statistics show that most people are made homeless following a family breakdown or household dispute.

Legal experts told the BBC that people were being unlawfully turned away by councils, despite their statutory duty.”


Source: Homeless illegally turned away by councils : Vox Political

Govt Newspeak

Margo Laird

In November the Evening Times reported how Margo Laird, from Tollcross, was totally dependent on her son and her sister for food and electricity after being repeatedly sanctioned. She believed as she was sending in sick lines she was not required to attend at Jobcentre interviews but the DWP issued her with sanctions and stopped her cash.

Ms Laird appealed the decision and won with the tribunal deciding the DWP evidence provided for sanction was “inadequate.

She was also at risk of homelessness as her rent was not being paid and her landlord had begun legal proceedings. She was unaware she was running up arrears as she thought her rent was still being paid with housing benefit. Meanwhile arrears of £900 had been accumulated over months when nothing was paid to the housing association on her behalf.

David Linden, Glasgow East SNP MP, took up her case last year and raised…

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This is indeed grotesque, however council tax is related to rateable values and these values are based on the housing values in 1991.

Should the rateable values be recalculated this would lead to an increase for all properties and this grotesque situation would still be present.

Current rateable values in Kensington & Chelsea

What would mitigate this grotesque situation is to increase the number of rating bands to accommodate that the properties worth millions are subjected to a higher rateable value, in effect to account for the higher ratios of property values now.

Govt Newspeak

The simple comparison that highlights the grotesque inequality in Two Nation Britain

In London’s wealthiest borough, the Sultan of Brunei pays just a tenner more a week in council tax for his 16-bed mansion than Mrs Braithwaite – who lives in a three-bed terrace

In London’s wealthiest borough where 71 died in the Grenfell Tower fire , combative MP Emma Dent Coad quotes a simple comparison that highlights grotesque inequality in Two Nation Britain.

The Labour battler’s example involves the Sultan of Brunei , an obscenely rich multi-billionaire dictator who profits personally from the oil and gas fiefdom he rules with an iron fist, and Mrs Braithwaite, a working class retired mother and grandmother. The Sultan owns a 16-bedroom mansion with golden chandeliers, worth upwards of perhaps £100m, in Kensington Palace Gardens – known for good reason as Billionaires’ Row.

In the borough’s northern end, in what is practically another world…

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Homelessness is now a serious risk for working families with stable jobs who cannot find somewhere affordable to live after being evicted by private-sector landlords seeking higher rents, the local government ombudsman has warned.

Michael King said nurses, taxi drivers, hospitality staff and council workers were among those assisted by his office after being made homeless and placed in often squalid and unsafe temporary accommodation by local authorities.

“People are coming to us not because they have a ‘life crisis’ or a drug and alcohol problem, but because they are losing what they thought was a stable private-sector tenancy, being evicted and then being priced out of the [rental] market,” he said.

King said the common perception that homelessness was about people with chaotic lives who slept rough no longer held true. “Increasingly, [homeless people] are normal families who would not have expected to be in this situation,” he said.


Source: Families with stable jobs at risk of homelessness in Britain, report finds

A young man with special educational needs has been left in short-stay accommodation for nearly two years because social workers in Lancashire could not decide where he should live permanently, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The man was placed in short-stay accommodation by Lancashire County Council after his family told social workers they were struggling to cope with his behaviour and the impact it was having on his younger siblings.

The Ombudsman’s investigation found the placement in January 2016 was only meant to be temporary, but the man is still living in the accommodation today. It is likely the man’s behaviour has deteriorated through not living in suitable accommodation and not receiving appropriate support.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King, said:

“This man has been left in limbo in this accommodation, which by its very nature was only ever intended to be a short stay. He has missed out on vital support and development opportunities


Source: Disabled man left for two years in unsuitable short-stay accommodation let down by council | Care Industry News

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